Credit: ULA

Credit: ULA

 

This week the U.S. Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office is set to launch the fourth mission of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle – the military’s secretive robotic space plane.

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Launch Readiness Review was completed yesterday and everything is progressing toward the AFSPC-5 launch for the Unites States Air Force – lofting the space plane into Earth orbit.

Weather improving

Previous mission photo shows launch processing of a Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. Credit: Boeing

Previous mission photo shows launch processing of a Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle.
Credit: Boeing

The mission is set to liftoff on a ULA Atlas V rocket on Wednesday, May 20 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.Yesterday’s L-2 forecast has improved and now shows a 60 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch. The launch period is 10:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. Eastern.

For a look at the political/policy discussion regarding the Air Force space plane, go to:

What Will the X-37B Military Space Plane Do on Its Next Mystery Mission?

by Leonard David, Space.com’s Space Insider Columnist

May 19, 2015 07:00am ET

http://www.space.com/29442-x37b-space-plane-fourth-mission.html

Also, check out the Atlas V AFSPC-5 mission overview video, posted here:

https://youtu.be/U5wQ-7WY-UY

A third mission of the Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle was completed on Oct. 17, 2014, when it landed and was recovered at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California following a successful 674-day space mission. The upcoming space plane flight – on the program’s fourth mission -- may land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Boeing

A third mission of the Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle was completed on Oct. 17, 2014, when it landed and was recovered at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California following a successful 674-day space mission. The upcoming space plane flight – on the program’s fourth mission — may land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Credit: Boeing

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