US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — In the United States, the Atlas V booster rocket with the X-37B reusable unmanned spacecraft U.S. Air Force launched from the Cosmodrome at Cape Canaveral. The launch took place at 9:14 a.m. on the East Coast of the US.
The operator company United Launch Alliance has already confirmed the separation of the first stage of the media. At Atlas V, it is equipped with the Russian RD-180 engine.
This is the 139th mission of the United Launch Alliance and the 84th launch of the Atlas 5 carrier. The X-37B spacecraft has been launched for the sixth time. On the eve of the launch was delayed twice due to adverse weather conditions in the area of the launch site.
During the mission, it is planned to conduct a number of scientific experiments, the US Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said earlier. Among them – the study of the effect of radiation and other phenomena on samples of seeds and plants used in food, as well as the conversion of solar energy into radio frequency microwave energy, which they will try to transfer to Earth.
And according to information from unofficial sources, the purpose of the launch of the X-37B shuttle is to run-in the technologies of a promising interceptor capable of inspecting and, if necessary, destroying other people’s space satellites.
This unmanned spacecraft can operate at altitudes from 200 to 750 kilometers, quickly change orbits and maneuver. Information about the devices installed on board the X-37V, as well as about the contents of the cargo compartment, is classified.
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