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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - An Atlas booster is poised to hurl from Florida the reusable X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle into space — now projected to be an April 21 launch.
The X-37B orbital space plane, essentially a mini-shuttle, will be placed into Earth orbit and loiter in space for an unspecified period of time. It will then reenter for an auto-pilot landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, or at neighboring Edwards Air Force Base as back-up.
Not much else is known.
It's a tight-lipped affair, with its builder — Boeing Phantom Works — pledged to retain vocal silence on the flight — advising this reporter here that they "defer to the customer" — the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.