SpaceX is getting ready to launch its first mission with US Air Force in which, a Falcon 9 space rocket will carry the X-37B spaceplane to orbit – a spy craft in space for a secret mission.
The US Air Force’s mysterious X-37B space plane is set to go off on another secret mission in space, but its trip into space will come courtesy of a new partner: SpaceX. With one eye cornered on the dangerous Hurricane Irma’s forecast path toward Florida, SpaceX and US Air Force has scheduled the launch of X-37B today, from the famed 39A launch pad at Cape Canaveral. The launch can be postponed because of weather conditions, and even if it gets launched today, we have no idea about what the mysterious mission is about.
The X-37B, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) was designed for the US government by Boeing. It’s about 29 feet long and weighs in at 11,000 pounds. Reports have claimed the X-37B is conducting spy missions, testing new equipment for military satellites, and even that it’s testing new methods of propulsion. Its ability to land in one piece allows researchers to examine all the equipment it carried into orbit. This will be SpaceX’s first time carrying a U.S. Air Force space drone that’s conducted highly classified missions in orbit for more than a year at a time.
The launch time window is between 9:50 AM and 2:55 PM local time, but SpaceX will certainly not take any risks as there is no particular rush for the Air Force as the X-37B tends to remain in space for months at a time running tests. In the last mission, X-37B was deployed in space for 718 days – a record for a reusable spacecraft! Yet, we have no idea what the spacecraft did for nearly two and half years in space – how secretive are these guys!