SpaceX successfully launches top-secret X-37B robot spaceplane on historic mission

RNS: SpaceX has successfully launched the military’s classified X-37B robot spaceplane on its seventh covert mission.

This historic event marks the first time the X-37B has been launched atop a rocket capable of propelling it to a higher orbit than ever before.

The mission took flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, within a narrow 10-minute launch window that began precisely at 8:07 p.m. EST (0107 GMT on Friday).

This launch came after several false starts and delays in recent weeks, mainly attributed to unfavorable weather conditions and various technical challenges. Ground crews had to meticulously address these concerns before proceeding with the latest launch attempt.

Fortunately, the most recent weather forecast for Thursday’s launch provided an 80% chance of favorable conditions, allowing SpaceX to proceed with the mission.

The X-37B, a Boeing-built spacecraft, is approximately the size of a compact bus and bears a striking resemblance to a miniature space shuttle.

It has been purposefully designed for delivering a wide range of payloads and conducting technology experiments during extended orbital missions. Remarkably, at the conclusion of each mission, the X-37B executes a controlled descent through Earth’s atmosphere and lands on a runway, mirroring the approach of a traditional airplane.

This mission is shrouded in secrecy, with the details of the X-37B’s objectives and payloads remaining highly classified. The spacecraft’s unique capabilities, versatility, and extended duration in orbit make it an invaluable asset for military and scientific purposes.

SpaceX’s successful launch of the X-37B signals another milestone in the realm of space exploration and highlights the company’s capabilities in supporting critical national security initiatives.

As the mission progresses, further details regarding the X-37B’s activities and accomplishments may gradually emerge, providing a glimpse into the highly secretive world of military space operations.

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