Air Force to launch 2nd unmanned spaceplane

March 4, 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.

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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!

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