Business & EconomyScience & NatureX-37B US military space plane launches for third flight

X-37B US military space plane launches for third flight

-

A notoriously mysterious military space plane operated by the US Air Force has launched from Florida, the third flight in a secretive test programme.
The reusable, unmanned craft is designed to operate in Earth orbit for extended periods. Its prior missions in 2010 and 2011 lasted 224 and 469 days.
The US government kept the timing of Tuesday’s launch secret and has not said how long the mission will last.
Tuesday’s launch had been pushed back from October, delayed by two satellite launches. Patrick Air Force Base in Florida gave notice of a hazard from a launch in a window between 15:45 and 22:15 GMT (10:45 to 17:15 local time).
The X-37B craft, designed by aerospace giant Boeing, shares more than just a passing similarity to the now-retired space shuttle.
It is just a quarter the size of the shuttle, but is launched on a rocket – the Atlas V. It is coated in thermal tiles to withstand the heat of re-entry, after which it lands on its own gear autonomously.
The stated mission of the craft, according to the US Air Force, is an “experimental test program to demonstrate technologies for a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform”.
But the latest mission in particular sparked speculation that the craft was spying on the Chinese space lab Tiangong-1 – an idea that has since been largely discredited.
When it returned from its second mission in June, programme manager Lt Col Tom McIntyre said: “We knew from post-flight assessments from the first mission that OTV-1 could have stayed in orbit longer. So one of the goals of this mission was to see how much farther we could push the on-orbit duration.”
But any official mission objectives seem set once again to remain secret.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

IPOB Warns Security Agencies Against “Genocidal Killing Of Biafra” Youth” By Tagging Them ESN Operatives

By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka Following the incessant kidnappings, harrasments, arrests,  and indiscriminate killings of Biafrans in the recent times,...

NUJ Demands Probe As DPO Assaults, Detains JAMZ FM GM In Ibadan

By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan The Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ)  Oyo State Council on Tuesday  demanded immediate probe of the...

NSCDC Committed To Welfare Of Officers/Men – Oyo State Commandant

 *commissions borehole, cooperative kitchen   By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan Oyo State Commandant of the  Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC),...

Out Of School Children: LSD Director Says 960 Girls Enrolled Into Schools In Adamawa

By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON No fewer than 960 out-of-school girls have been enrolled back into schools in Adamawa State, Executive...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

Trauma: CRUDAN Organizes 3-day Workshop For Christian Clerics In North West

By; GRACE JAMES, Kaduna Christian Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria (CRUDAN) North West Zone has organized  a three-day...

Mr LA Sets Agenda For Kaduna South PDP Councillors, Sues For Cohesion

By; AMOS MATHEW,  Kaduna As the newly elected council officials in Kaduna State set for inauguration, a chieftain of the...

Must read

Kaduna is number one in Moblie Money transactions – AMMON

By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON, Kaduna. Kaduna State has been praised...

Meeting Between Amaechi, Party Youth  Went Well – APC

  By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON In view of telephone calls by...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you