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Posts Tagged ‘rocket launch’

Current launch of the x37B Space Plane is set for 5:27 pm, March 4, 2011.

A rainbow appeared above the Atlas 5 launch pad as rainshowers approached Cape Canaveral Friday afternoon, delaying the rocket’s blastoff with a secret U.S. Air Force space plane. via http://www.spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av026/rainbow/

NASA space planeThe X-37B is prepared for launch near Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Air Force officials have offered few details on the experimental space plane. (Boeing / March 4, 2011)
 
Indeed, official have offered few details about today’s space plane launch.  What is is for, what it can do, what it’s mission is- is all up for debate.  While we wish it was researching teleportation; in reality, we do know from the military is that-

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle will provide a flexible space test platform to conduct various experiments and allow satellite sensors, subsystems, components and associated technology to be efficiently transported to and from the space environment where it will need to function.- http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2010/04/air-force-bloggers-roundtable-air-force-set-to-launch-first-x-37b-orbital-test-vehicle/    

Last year some amateur astronomer found the X-37B, resulting in it being tracked in apps such as the Simple Satellite Tracker.  Saw it as clear as the ISS in the night sky.
 
“It’s a classified mission,” said Maj. Tracy A. Bunko, an Air Force spokeswoman. The spacecraft will be carrying “reusable technologies for America’s future in space and operating experiments, which can then be returned to and examined on Earth.”

The first X-37B was launched from the Cape last April, and 224 days later it landed on its own — fully automated — on a 15,000-foot-long airstrip at Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Santa Barbara. The plane being launched this week is also expected to land there sometime late this year. via http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-fi-space-plane-20110304,0,7597538.story

“The exploration and use of outer space … shall be for peaceful purposes and shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development. …prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a grave danger for international peace and security Prevention of an arms race in outer space, United Nations General Assembly Resolution, A/RES/55/32, January 2001. (PDF Document)  

Yeah, okay.
 
This morning a Taurus XL rocket did not separate as expected at about three minutes after launch of the Glory weather satellite.  Crashed into the Ocean— so they said.  Better luck to the Atlas 5, powering the X-37B.
 
 
X-37B will go from Space Launch Complex-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. If the launch scrubs, the next launch attempt is set for March 5. The launch period for March 4 opened at 3:39 p.m. EST and extends until 5:37pm.
Updated 5:25 pm, the launch has been scrubbed due to bad weather, everything else was go.  Rescheduled for 4:09 pm on Saturday, March 6, 2011.  Stay tuned.
 
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