The X-37B Mystery Space Plane

USAF Launches X-37B Mystery Space Plane
April 24, 2010

The United States Air Force (USAF) has launched a secret space plane into orbit, carried in the nose of an Atlas 5 rocket.

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X-37B OTV-1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

X-37B OTV-1 (Orbital Test Vehicle 1) or USA-212[3] is the first flight of the Boeing X-37B, an American unmanned spacecraft. It was launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral on 22 April 2010, and is currently operating in low Earth orbit.
The spacecraft is operated by the United States Air Force, which has not revealed what the spaceship's specific payload is, stating only that it will "demonstrate various experiments and allow satellite sensors, subsystems, components, and associated technology to be transported into space and back."[4]

X-37B during encapsulation ahead of the OTV-1 launch

U.S. Air Force/DARPA
Major contractors Boeing (spacecraft)
United Launch Alliance (LSP)
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Star Wars 2010? U.S. military launch space plane on maiden voyage... but its mission is top secret

A top secret space plane developed by the US military has blasted off from Cape Canaveral on its maiden voyage.

Ready for launch: The X-37B rocket in Florida before it blasted off into space

A computer graphic shows what the X-37B will look like in space. It took a decade to develop and will spend up to nine months in orbit
This computer image shows the space plane re-entering Earth. Although it resembles a small space shuttle it is not designed to carry humans. It's wingspan is a mere 4.5m with a length of 8.9m. It is powered by batteries and solar cells
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Air Force Launches Secretive Space Plane; ‘We Don’t Know When It’s Coming Back’

The Air Force launched a secretive space plane into orbit Thursday night from Cape Canaveral, Florida. And they’re not sure when it’s returning to Earth.

Perched atop an Atlas V rocket, the Air Force’s unmanned and reusable X-37B made its first flight after a decade in development shrouded in mystery; most of the mission goals remain unknown to the public.

The Air Force has fended off statements calling the X-37B a space weapon, or a space-based drone to be used for spying or delivering weapons from orbit. In a conference call with reporters, deputy undersecretary for the Air Force for space programs Gary Payton acknowledged much of the current mission is classified. But perhaps the most intriguing answer came when he was asked by a reporter wanting to cover the landing as to when the X-37B would be making its way back to the planet.

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  1. YouTube - USAF Launches X-37B Mystery Space Plane
  2. X-37B OTV-1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. X-37B unmanned space shuttle to be launched tonight | Mail Online
  4. Air Force Launches Secretive Space Plane; ‘We Don’t Know When It’s Coming Back’ | Danger Room | Wired.com
  1. Boeing X-37 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. :::: United launch Alliance, LLC :::: - 7
  3. YouTube - CNN: Mystery Military Space Plane (Weaponization of Space?)
  4. BBC News - X-37B military spaceplane launches from Cape Canaveral
  5. FOXNews.com - Air Force's X-37B Space Plane Takes Off For Mystery Mission
  6. untitled3pt1.jpg (JPEG Image, 669x506 pixels)