US Air Force launches second X-37B robotic plane into space

By on Mar 6, 2011 in Astronomy, United States Comments

The US Air Force launched its second X-37B robotic plane into space on Saturday, March 5, 2011, at 5:46 pm (EST) from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Second X-37B launched
Image Credit: Pat Corkery/
United Launch Alliance

As announced on its official website, the second X-37B space shuttle was made following the first X-37B launch in April 2010, which back to earth and landed at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California last December after 224 days in space.

Apparently, the launching of the second X-37B was delayed for one day due to high ground winds, which was originally scheduled on Friday, March 4.

According to the announcement, the OTV-2 needed no significant changes after the post flight of the first launch, OTV-1 was analyzed.

“Launch is a very demanding business and having what appears to be a successful launch is always welcome news,” Richard McKinney, Deputy Under-Secretary of the Air Force for Space Programs, was quoted as saying.

“It is important to remember that this is an experimental vehicle; that this is just the second launch; and that we have just started what is a very systematic checkout of the system.” He added.

Meanwhile, US Air Force officials affirmed on reports that the X-37B program has a big possibility to provide more economical space experiments in the future.

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