The Atlas 5 launch vehicle was launched in Florida with the experimental military mini-shuttle X-37B, the United Launch Alliance company is broadcasting the launch live.
The launch vehicle was launched from Cape Canaveral Cosmodrome at 9.14 (16.14 Moscow time) on the U.S. East Coast.
As previously reported in the U.S. Armed Forces, the current, sixth flight – the first flight of X-37B using a service module with equipment for experiments. Therefore, during the test flight on board X-37B will be a large number of experiments, including two in the interests of NASA: to study the effects of radiation and other factors in space flight on materials and seeds.
The X-37B mission is also expected to launch FalconSat-8, a small satellite with five experimental payloads from the United States Air Force Academy, as well as an experiment to convert solar energy into radio frequency microwave energy for transmission to Earth.
The X-37B shuttle was developed by the American company Boeing. Since 2010, there have been five mini-shuttle missions in space lasting from 225 to 780 days in order to perform experiments in orbit for the U.S. Air Force. Their details are classified. The mini-shuttle returned from its last flight in October 2019, placing three satellites in orbit for unknown purposes.
Earlier, former U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said the unusual maneuverability of the X-37B in space “drives enemies crazy.