Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum - Washington D.C.
SPACE AND UNMANNED
(All pictures by EAF51_Bear)
Apollo Lunar Module (LEM)
The Apollo Lunar Module (LM) was a two-stage vehicle designed by Grumman to ferry two astronauts from lunar orbit to the lunar surface and back. The upper ascent stage consisted of a pressurized crew compartment, equipment areas, and an ascent rocket engine. The lower descent stage had the landing gear and contained the descent rocket engine and lunar surface experiments. LM 2 was built for a second unmanned Earth-orbit test flight. Because the test flight of LM 1, named Apollo 5, was so successful, a second mission was deemed unnecessary. LM-2 was used for ground testing prior to the first successful Moon-landing mission. In 1970 the ascent stage of LM-2 spent several months on display at the "Expo '70" in Osaka, Japan. When it returned to the United States, it was reunited with its descent stage, modified to appear like the Apollo 11 Lunar Module "Eagle," and transferred to the Smithsonian for display.
Saturn V F1 Engine
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
Tomhawk Cruise Missile
UAV - Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an unpiloted aircraft. UAVs come in two varieties: some are controlled from a remote location, and others fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans using more complex dynamic automation systems. Currently, UAVs perform reconnaissance as well as attack missions. They are also used in a small but growing number of civil applications, such as firefighting. UAVs are often preferred for missions that are too "dull, dirty, or dangerous" for manned aircraft. There is a wide variety of UAV shapes, sizes, configurations, and characteristics. For the purposes of this article and to distinguish UAVs from missiles, a UAV is defined as capable of controlled, sustained, level flight and powered by a jet or reciprocating engine. Cruise missiles are not classed as UAVs, because, like many other guided missiles, the vehicle itself is a weapon that is not reused, even though it is also unmanned and in some cases remotely guided. The abbreviation UAV has been expanded in some cases to UAVS (unmanned-aircraft vehicle system). The Federal Aviation Administration has adopted the generic class unmanned aircraft system (UAS) originally introduced by the U.S. Navy to reflect the fact that these are not just aircraft, but systems, including ground stations and other elements.
The Boeing X-45 unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) is a concept demonstrator for a next generation of completely autonomous military aircraft, developed by Boeing's Phantom Works. Manufactured by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, the X-45 and is part of DARPA's J-UCAS project. oeing built two of the model X-45A, both were scaled-down proof-of-concept aircraft. The first was completed by Boeing's Phantom Works in September, 2000. The goal of the X-45A technology demonstrator program was to develop the technologies needed to "conduct suppression of enemy air defense missions with unmanned combat air vehicles." The first generation of UCAVs are primarily planned for air-to-ground roles with defensive air-to-air capabilities coupled with significant remote piloting. The X-45A had its first flight on May 22, 2002, and the second vehicle followed in November of that year. On April 18, 2004, the X-45A's first bombing run test at Edwards Air Force Base was successful; it hit a ground target with a 250-pound inert precision-guided munition. On August 1, 2004, for the first time, two X-45As were controlled in flight simultaneously by one ground-controller. On February 4, 2005, on their 50th flight, the two X-45As took off into a patrol pattern and were then alerted to the presence of a target. The X-45As then autonomously determined which vehicle held the optimum position, weapons (notional), and fuel load to properly attack the target. After making that decision, one of the X-45As changed course and the pilot-operator allowed it to attack the simulated antiaircraft emplacement. Following a successful strike, another simulated threat, this time disguised, emerged and was subsequently destroyed by the second X-45A. This demonstrated the ability of these vehicles to autonomously work as a team and manage their resources, as well as to engage previously-undetected targets, which is significantly harder than following a predetermined attack path. After the completion of the flight test program, both X-45As were sent to museums, one to the National Air and Space Museum, and the other to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where it was inducted on November 13, 2006.
The MQ-1 Predator is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which the United States Air Force describes as a MALE (medium-altitude, long-endurance) UAV system. It can serve in a reconnaissance role and fire two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The aircraft, in use since 1995, has seen combat over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, and Yemen. It is a remote-controlled aircraft. The MQ-1 Predator is a system, not just an aircraft. The fully operational system consists of four air vehicles (with sensors), a ground control station (GCS), a Predator primary satellite link communication suite, and 55 people. In the over-all U.S. Air Force integrated UAV system the Predator is considered a "Tier II" vehicle. The Predator system was initially designated the RQ-1 Predator. The "R" is the Department of Defense designation for reconnaissance and the "Q" refers to an unmanned aircraft system.[The "1" describes it as being the first of a series of aircraft systems built for unmanned reconnaissance. Pre-production systems were designated as RQ-1A, while the RQ-1B (not to be confused with the RQ-1 Predator B, which became the MQ-9 Reaper) denotes the baseline production configuration. It should be emphasized that these are designations of the system as a unit. The actual aircraft themselves were designated RQ-1K for pre-production models, and RQ-1L for production models. In 2005, the Air Force officially changed the designation to MQ-1 (the "M" designates multi-role) to reflect its growing use as an armed aircraft. More than one third of all deployed Predator spy planes have crashed. 55 were lost because of "equipment failure, operator errors or weather". Four of them were shot down in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq; 11 were lost in combat situations, such as "running out of fuel while protecting troops under fire."