Weather delays Air Force's launch of space plane

Mar 05, 2011

(AP) -- The Air Force has delayed launching an experimental space plane because of bad weather.

Friday's launch attempt was canceled because of the threat of lightning near Cape Canaveral in Florida, which also experienced heavy winds and rain. It was rescheduled for mid-Saturday afternoon. Air Force forecasters said there was a 40 percent chance of launch.

The X-37B orbital resembles a small shuttle and will be launched aboard an Atlas 5 rocket. The first one was launched last April and landed in December at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California after a 270-day mission. The says the second mission of the unmanned, winged space plane is for further testing.

The ultimate purpose of the X-37B and details about the craft have long been a mystery.

Explore further: Testing immune cells on the International Space Station

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Chef
4.5 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2011
I don't understand why NASA just doesn't use a version of this to replace the shuttle. Use it just for putting the crew into orbit, and keep the cargo for the heavy lift vehicle. Seems we could have it ready in one year instead of 5+ yrs. Since it is located on top of the rocket, NASA would get the additional safety they were looking for. I would much rather this be done, instead of the 1960's tech of the capsule.
ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Mar 06, 2011
I don't understand why NASA just doesn't use a version of this to replace the shuttle. Use it just for putting the crew into orbit, and keep the cargo for the heavy lift vehicle. Seems we could have it ready in one year instead of 5+ yrs. Since it is located on top of the rocket, NASA would get the additional safety they were looking for. I would much rather this be done, instead of the 1960's tech of the capsule.


NASA is indeed going to use similar vehicle for crew transport. SpaceDevs Dream Chaser shuttle was chosen to be funded by NASA COTS money, and will also be launched on this Atlas rocket.

http://en.wikiped...cecraft)

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