X-37B space plane launches on its most ambitious mission to date

Watch live as ULA launches a U.S. military spaceplane for its first Space Force mission

A space plane is on a secret mission for the U.S. Space Force after launching from Cape Canaveral Sunday.

The last X-37B mission was launched September 7, 2017 and ended October 27, 2019, for 779 days, 17 hours and 51 minutes.

Space.com noted that the X-37B's new service module, a cylindrical add-on beneath the spacecraft, lets it carry more payloads than before. These include the US Air Force Academy's FalconASAT-8 small satellite, which will be deployed later this year to test electromagnetic propulsion, two NASA experiments to study the effects of radiation and other space effects on various materials and food crop seeds, and a Naval Research Laboratory investigation on how sunlight can be converted into microwaves as a means to beam power from orbit to the ground.

The winged spacecraft resembles old NASA shuttles, but is only a quarter the size of 29 feet (9 meters) long.

The unmanned space plane is reportedly equipped with a small satellite developed by the Air Force, but its objective remains a secret. This first X-37B flight under the Space Force comes with a new window to parts of the mission.


"Congratulations to the USSF-7 integrated team on a successful launch", said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Air Force program executive officer for Space. "In a common way to a common home".

The X-37B first launched in April 2010.

"If you add up all the missions, just under eight years in orbit and a billion miles, then you will travel a lot on this machine", Chilton said during the launch transmission.

America's most experienced space launch provider United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched the X-37B orbital test vehicle for the U.S. Space Force at 9:14 am EDT this morning from LC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. In March, he hoisted a national security satellite.

The precautions were less apparent along the causeways in the area, where onlookers parked to watch the Atlas rise.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Ubisoft Files Lawsuit Against Apple & Google For Rainbow Six: Siege Clone
Hopefully, we get a Rainbow Six Siege mobile version at some point, so players can experience the game on mobile platforms. The game, Rainbow Six: siege , has near about 55 million registered players and is played as a competitive e-sport.

COVID-19: Region records first new case in more than a month
Residents of a central Queensland aged care facility have been evacuated in a bid to stop a possible outbreak of coronavirus. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said yesterday that it was "not acceptable" for anyone to go to work sick.

Beijing Urges US to Halt 'Unreasonable Suppression' of Huawei, Chinese Enterprises
Huawei is at the center of a broad struggle for technological dominance between the US and China. A Huawei representative said the company had no immediate comment.

Amazon Fire TV interface makes it easier to find free content
Amazon is now rolling out the feature to Fire TV users in the US. You'll find it at the top of the navigation bar. The content is refreshed regularly.

Loeffler Turns Over Stock Transaction Records Amid Scrutiny Of Sales
The cellphone was Senate-issued and investigators have requested Apple to provide information from the senator's iCloud backup. As he ducked into a Senate Republican lunch, Burr told reporters at the Capitol that he thought it was "the right thing to do".

Other news