|ULA Atlas V Rocket||5.75"||0.5"|
Dragon previously created a detailed 1/72 scale model of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), an American unmanned spaceplane that is produced by Boeing. The X-37 started life in 1999 as a NASA project, but it was taken over by the Department of Defense (DoD) in 2004. The first orbital flight of the USAF’s X-37B took place on 22 April 2010 after it was launched using an Atlas V rocket. Its aerodynamic design is clearly based on that of the Space Shuttle. It is a classified project, but for space support missions it could rendezvous with satellites to refuel or repair them. It would also have obvious defense applications, and could conduct defensive and offensive counter-space missions, as well as surveillance and reconnaissance.
Now Dragon offers a fascinating 1/400 model that shows the X-37B in combination with its Atlas V rocket, the current workhorse of US space programs. The X-37B spaceplane is the product of brand new toolings, and it fits neatly inside the nose of the Atlas V rocket. Of course it would be a pity just to hide the spaceplane inside the rocket like this, so the rocket’s nose cone is designed to open to show the “package” installed inside. This is a fine Dragon model of craft at the very cutting edge of space technology.