Rocket Atlas 5 With X-37B Launched From Cape Canaveral
Information about the devices installed on Board the X-37B, including the contents of the cargo compartment, is classified.
The Atlas 5 heavy launch vehicle with the US military X-37B spaceplane on Board launched on Sunday from the space center at Cape Canaveral (Florida). The launch took place at 09:14 local time, broadcast on the website of the United Launch Alliance (ULA).
"Atlas 5 in 1 minute and 40 seconds has passed the speed threshold of Mach 1 and is flying at a speed higher than the speed of sound," the company's blog says. It has already confirmed the separation of the upper stage of the carrier. At the seventh minute of the flight, ULA stopped broadcasting.
The launch was carried out in the interests of the US Space forces. The project is overseen by a special unit of the US air force, which is engaged in the development of a next-generation strategic bomber, which should exceed the characteristics of the B-2 Spirit aircraft. Information about the devices installed on Board the X-37B, including the contents of the cargo compartment, is classified.
As previously reported by us air force Secretary Barbara Barrett, a number of scientific experiments are planned during the mission. One of them is devoted to the study of the influence of radiation and other phenomena on samples of seeds and plants used for food. Another experiment involves "converting solar energy into radio frequency microwave energy," which will try to transmit to the Earth, the Minister explained. The carrier also has a small satellite developed by the US air force Academy, FalconSat-8, which will conduct five separate experiments.
This type of spaceplane was launched for the sixth time. This is the 139th ULA mission and the 84th launch of the Atlas 5 carrier.
The first flight of the spaceplane, which began in April 2010, lasted 225 days. The second - 468 days (from March 2011 to June 2012), the third - 675 days (from December 2012 to October 2014). During the fourth mission, which ended on May 7, 2017, the vehicle was in orbit for 717 days, 20 hours, and 42 minutes. The fifth mission was a record-breaking duration: the X-37B landed on October 27, 2019, on the runway of the space flight Center. John F. Kennedy at Cape Canaveral, Florida, after spending 780 days in space.