Updates X-37B atop of Atlas 5 on March 4th 2011

IronRain

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SpaceFlight Now: Air Force's second X-37 space plane nears launch

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Two months after a sister ship successfully concluded a demo flight, the U.S. military's second robotic X-37B space plane is in Florida preparing for blastoff March 4 on another secret mission, according to an Air Force official.


The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket is being readied for launch at Cape Canaveral's Complex 41. Both stages of the booster have been assembled inside a vertical integration building, and the rocket is scheduled to roll out to the pad later this week for a pre-launch practice countdown and tanking test. The wet dress rehearsal is on tap for Friday, according to an Air Force spokesperson.

encapsulation.jpg

(First X-37B being encapsulated for flight, similar to the second X-37B)
 
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Zatnikitelman

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WOW! I hadn't expected a second launch this fast! Really makes you wonder what the Air Force is up to that needs a vehicle up there only two months after the first returned.
 

GoForPDI

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The first one was up for almost a year, plenty of time to prepare another. One X-37 per year can do alot of spying ;)
 

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Seems a successful lifting body program ! Let's hope there will be one day civilian applications of it... ;)
 

Messierhunter

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It'll be interesting to see if this one gives off the same occasional bright flare that its sister ship showed while in orbit. If it was a flare off the solar panel or a radiator then it should still show the same behavior, but if it doesn't flare this time then it must have been payload-specific.
 

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Epic. The long lost ancestor to the XR5 :D

At least, you can think of it that way when comparing the USS Enterprise E to the Phoenix :D
 
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tblaxland

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Spaceflightnow:

The odds of "no go" weather for Friday's X-37B spaceplane launch atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral have increased to 70 percent because of cloud and high wind worries.
The latest outlook issued this morning called for scattered cumulus clouds at 3,000 feet, scattered high cirrus at 25,000 feet, isolated showers in the area, 7 miles of visibility, easterly winds of 22 gusting to 28 knots and a temperature of 70-71 degrees F.

The forecast for Saturday's backup launch opportunity is marginally better.

Officials are expected to announce the exact launch time later today. For now, they say liftoff will happen sometime after 3:39 p.m. EST.​
 

DaveS

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The Atlas V with the X-37B OTV2 is now at the pad following the short trip from the Vertical Integration Facility to SLC-41. The rollout began at 1:50pm EST and was complete at 2:20pm EST.
 

N_Molson

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Failure on the morning with Taurus XL, success on the evening with X-37B ? ;)

Tomorrow would be fine too, watching 2 launches a day is very cool but I'm not sure I could follow this rate of fire for very long ! :lol:
 

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Second X-37 space plane readied for launch

Spaceflight Now: X-37B READIED FOR FLIGHT:

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Photo credit: U.S. Air Force
 

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Launch is planned in 1 hour - T-40 minutes and counting. There will be one more countdown hold at T-4 minutes.

Launch Coverage Simulcast:
NASASpacefligth: LIVE: Atlas V hoping to dodge weather for X-37B OTV-2 launch:
Weather permitting, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) will launch an Atlas V 501 carrying the X-37B OTV-2 spacecraft on its first flight on Friday. Liftoff is currently scheduled to occur at 20:50 UTC; the start of a launch window of an undisclosed duration of up to 109 minutes, although there is currently a 70 percent chance of unacceptable weather. However, managers have concluded there are no common components between the Atlas V and the failed Taurus XL’s components.
 

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NEW LAUNCH TIME. Liftoff being pushed back to 3:55 p.m. EST due to high ground winds at the pad.
 

N_Molson

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The birds in front of the camera don't look very disturbed by the wind :p

---------- Post added at 08:47 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:44 PM ----------

Now there is a nice shower right over the pad...
 

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NEW LAUNCH TIME. 4:00 p.m. EST
 
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