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The United States Air Force's novel robotic X-37B space plane is tucked inside the bulbous nose cone of an unmanned rocket and poised for an evening blastoff from Florida tonight on a mission shrouded in secrecy.
The spacecraft, called the Orbital Test Vehicle, is poised to launch atop an Atlas 5 rocket from a seaside pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is slated for sometime during a nine-minute window that opens at 7:52 p.m. EDT.
There's an 80 percent chance of good weather to launch the X-37B space plane. But what it will actually do in space and when i
Observers suspect that the test flight may involve observations of another space vehicle. This suspicion was fanned by the announcement in late February that a Mach-5 hypersonic glider would be launched from California toward a Pacific tracking site during the X-37B's first week in orbit.