Air Force to launch 2nd unmanned spaceplane

Mar 04, 2011

(AP) -- The Air Force is preparing to send a second version of its secretive X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle into space.

The unmanned craft resembling a tiny is to be launched aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Station, Fla.

The launch window opens at 3:39 p.m. EST Friday but could cause delays.

The first X-37B, built by Boeing's Phantom Works in Southern California, was launched last April and autonomously landed itself in December at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Air Force said the primary purpose of the flight was to test the craft but it hasn't revealed what it intends to do with the plane's capability.

The Air Force says the second mission is for further testing. The landing will again be in California.

Explore further: Suddenly, the sun is eerily quiet: Where did the sunspots go?

5 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Air Force: winged robotic spacecraft launched

Apr 23, 2010

(AP) -- An unmanned Air Force space plane resembling a small space shuttle has been launched on its maiden voyage into orbit, carried aloft aboard an Atlas 5 rocket Thursday evening, the service announced.

Air Force and ULA to launch second X-37B

Feb 09, 2011

From all appearances the first flight of the U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane was a complete success. As such, the Air Force is planning to launch a second Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) on March ...

Air Force to launch robotic winged space plane

Apr 03, 2010

(AP) -- After a decade of development, the Air Force this month plans to launch a robotic spacecraft resembling a small space shuttle to conduct technology tests in orbit and then glide home to a California runway.

Recommended for you

New launch date set for ISS delivery vessel

46 minutes ago

A robot ship will be launched from Kourou, French Guiana, after a five-day delay on July 29 to deliver provisions to the International Space Station, space transport firm Arianespace said Tuesday.

The heart of an astronaut, five years on

2 hours ago

The heart of an astronaut is a much-studied thing. Scientists have analyzed its blood flow, rhythms, atrophy and, through journal studies, even matters of the heart. But for the first time, researchers are ...

Image: Kaleidoscopic view of Mars

8 hours ago

Astrophotographer Leo Aerts from Belgium took advantage of the recent opposition of Mars and captured the Red Planet both "coming and going" in this montage of images taken from October 2013 to June of 2014. ...

Wake up, robot

9 hours ago

Code, play and command your space droid – students across Europe can bring a squadron of minisatellites to life on the International Space Station as the ultimate space robot game.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rwinners
not rated yet Mar 04, 2011
Interesting. From the looks of this thing, it and its launcher could be scaled to support a manned version for limited length missions.
It is already big enough to carry weapons.
Seems to me that current satellites can take care of all the surveillance we require.
I wonder what its true purpose is. I'll bet the Russians and the Chinese do to!