Mighty Atlas Launches Secretive X-37B Spaceplane for US Space Force

Atlas V lifts off from Cape Canaveral with the X-37B OTV spaceplane on the USSF-7 mission. Credit: ULA

Following a one-day scrub on Saturday, United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully despatched its third Atlas V of the year early Sunday, 17 May, to deliver the highly secretive X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) mini-shuttle into low-Earth […]

Atlas V & Falcon 9 Set to Launch X-37B & Starlink Missions This Weekend

The “America Strong” livery hangs in pride of place as the Atlas V for Saturday’s USSF-7 mission arrives at the pad early Thursday, 14 May. The America Strong banner is dedicated to the memory of COVID-19 victims and as a tribute to first-responders, front-line workers and healthcare personnel. Photo Credit: ULA

A United Launch […]

Atlas Rocket Stacked for May 16 Launch with X-37B Spaceplane

The X-37B mini-shuttle (left) has flown five missions since April 2010. Its sixth flight, which kicks off NET Saturday, 16 May, promises to be its most ambitious yet. At right, the Common Core Booster (CCB) is raised to the vertical in the doorway of the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Space Launch Complex (SLC)-41. […]

SpaceX Launches OTV-5, Lands Another Falcon as Hurricane Approaches

OTV-5 launch. Photo: SpaceX

This morning SpaceX launched the Air Force’s reusable X-37B ‘mini shuttle” Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) from KSC launch pad 39A, putting the vehicle on orbit and bringing the rocket’s first stage booster back to Earth for another successful landing on “Landing Zone 1” just a few miles south of […]

PHOTOS: X-37B Spaceplane and Lightsail Stacked Atop Atlas-V for May 20 AFSPC-5 Launch

The Air Force’s AFSPC-5 payload, encapsulated inside a 5-meter diameter payload fairing, is mated to an Atlas V booster inside the Vertical Integration Facility or VIF at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-41. Photo Credit: ULA

The rocket tasked with launching the next mission from Cape Canaveral, Fla., is well into […]

Next Air Force X-37B Flight To Launch May 20 Carrying NASA Materials Science Experiment

Recovery crew members process the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle at Vandenberg Air Force Base after completing 674 days in space. A total of three X-37B missions have been completed, totaling 1,367 days on orbit. The X-37B will be equipped with a NASA materials exposure experiment with nearly 100 samples focusing on polymers, composites, […]

Like Superman: ESA's IXV Spaceplane Makes Successful Research Flight

AND IT’S OFF: A Vega launch vehicle lofts ESA’s IXV spaceplane to its suborbital mission. Photo Credit: ESA–S. Corvaja

It wasn’t Superman, but a spaceplane; however, it sure appeared to travel “faster than a speeding bullet,” as it cleared the pad in four seconds.

At 13:40 GMT (8:40 EST) today, the flight of […]

'Ready to Fly': Europe's IXV Spaceplane Geared Up for Feb. 11 Launch

Fueling IXV: “The IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle is being prepared for launch at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. IXV will be launched 320 km into space on top of a Vega rocket, climbing up to 420 km before beginning a long glide back through the atmosphere. In the process, IXV will gather […]

Air Force's Secretive X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Returns After Nearly Two Years in Orbit

Recovery crew members process the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle at Vandenberg Air Force Base after completing 674 days in space. A total of three X-37B missions have been completed, totaling 1,367 days on orbit. Photo Credit: Boeing

The U.S. Air Force’s mysterious X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) ended its third secretive mission today, […]

KSC's Remaining Shuttle Processing Hangars Will Support Secretive Air Force X-37B Program

The X-37B during post-landing operations at Vandenberg Air Force Base after landing in 2010. Personnel in SCAPE suits (Self-contained atmospheric protective ensemble) are seen here conducting initial checks on the vehicle and ensuring the area is safe. Photo Credit: USAF

On Dec. 11, 2012, ULA launched the third mission to deliver a secretive […]