US Air Force X-37B Spy Plane Launches Mystery Mission Tomorrow

Posted: May 19 2015, 6:33am CDT | by , in News | Misc

 
US Air Force X-37B Spy Plane Launches Mystery Mission Tomorrow
Credit: United Launch Alliance Twitter
  • A New Spy Space Plane Will Launch Tomorrow

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The latest spy plane X-37B will launch tomorrow for another mystery mission.

The new X-37B spy plane is preparing to go out is space for a new mission. The mission of this plane is being kept a secret for now and probably forever. This spy spacecraft is operated by the US Air Force which is similar to the retired Space Shuttle.

The spy plane was designed by Phantom Works under Boeing. The plane measures 29 feet and possesses a 15 feet wingspan which holds a seven foot cargo bay. This latest spy plane launch will be the fourth test flight carried out by the drone space plane.

This plane will be launched on board an Atlas 5 rocket designed by United Launch Alliance. The launch will take place between 10.45am-2.45pm. The mission controllers will announce the exact liftoff time tomorrow.

During the day there is a 60% chance of favorable conditions so the weather might not be a problem during the liftoff. The early spy space plans logged 1368 days in space where the planes landed at the Air Force Base located in California. They are all autonomously flown by robotic system of the spacecraft.

The previous three test flights have now spent more time in space than the 135 flights in the past 3 decades. The director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Randy Walden said that this is another exciting launch for the fourth X-37B mission.

They had all successful launches for the prior missions. This latest mission will now focus on testing the spy plane’s capabilities of carrying out experimental payloads. The experimental payloads are bound to include Materials Exposure and Technology Innovation in Space.

This will expose 100 material samples to space. The scientists would be observing what happens to the materials when they are exposed to the dangerous and harsh space conditions.

So scientists will find out how the material stand against high temperatures and how they do in a vacuum environment. The principal investigator said that this material exposure to space and then returning that data back to Earth would be great for the advancement of science.

Source: Space.com

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