Designed to be launched like a satellite and land like an airplane, the second X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, built by Boeing for the United States Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office, is an affordable, reusable space vehicle.
CREDIT: Boeing

Mysterious X-37B Military Space Plane’s Next Secret Mission Delayed

by Leonard David, Space Insider Columnist
Date: 21 October 2012 Time: 11:56 AM ET

The U.S. Air Force’s launch of the next secret mission by its unmanned X-37B space plane has been officially delayed to mid-November.

The upcoming X -37B space plane mystery mission, also known as Orbital Test Vehicle-3 (OTV-3), was slated to blast off atop an Atlas 5 rocket on Oct. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The liftoff is now scheduled for Nov. 13, according to ULA.

The delay was announced Saturday (Oct. 20) in an update by the mission’s launch provider, United Launch Alliance (ULA). ULA officials said an engine glitch during an Oct. 5 launch of a Delta 4 rocket that successfully orbited a Global Positioning System 2F-3 satellite.

An unexpected lower than normal chamber pressure was observed on the booster’s RL10 upper stage engine. The onboard inertial guidance and flight control systems compensated for the lower thrust, with the Delta second stage placing the spacecraft into the proper orbit.

Read more: US Military's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane's Next Secret Mission Delayed | Space.

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