Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tag Archives: x-37b

Launch of mysterious X-37B plane delayed again

The launch of the third Air Force X-37B spaceship, a secret space plane used for classified missions in Earth orbit, has been postponed, officials said. The liftoff of an Atlas 5 rocket set to carry the robotic X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3), which looks like a mini space shuttle, has now been slipped to Nov. 27, pending confirmation that the rocket range can support the launch. According to a statement on Nov. 2 from spokesperson Jessica Rye of United Launch Alliance (ULA), which builds the Atlas 5, the leadership at ULA and the Air Force agreed to postpone the launch of the X-37B for two weeks. The postponement stems from an ongoing investigation of an engine glitch during an Oct. 5 flight of a Delta 4 booster, a relative to the Atlas 5. That launcher experienced a lower-than-normal upper-stage engine chamber pressure when it launched to place a Global Positioning …

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Air Force’s Secret Space Plane Prepped for New Launch

The Air Force’s mysterious X-37B space plane is now readying for its third space mission, slated to begin in October. And perhaps not surprising for the hush-hush orbital drone, the third time into space remains as secretive as the first two. Next month, the X-37B will blast off again aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The exact timing of the October launch is unknown and subject to change due to weather conditions, and there’s no telling how long the drone will stay in orbit. ”Preparations for launch at Cape Canaveral have begun,” Major Tracy Bunko, an Air Force spokesperson, told Space.com. While it’ll be the third flight for the robotic space plane program as a whole, it’s only the second for this particular craft. Four months ago, X-37B’s second of two planes returned from its first flight and a record-breaking 469 days in orbit – more than double …

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