Technology

SpaceX Reschedules Secret Space Force Mission Due to Weather

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has postponed the launch of the U.S. military’s secretive X-37B spacecraft, a Space Force mission, citing unfavorable weather conditions.

Initially set for Sunday evening at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the launch has been rescheduled for Monday, with improved weather conditions anticipated.

SpaceX confirmed on X,

“Now targeting Monday, December 11 for Falcon Heavy’s launch of the USSF-52 mission, with favorable weather conditions forecasted to improve to 70% favorable for liftoff on Monday night.”

The X-37B Spacecraft

Operated by the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office in collaboration with the Space Force, the Boeing X-37B, or Orbital Test Vehicle, is a unique, unmanned, and robotic spacecraft.

It is notable for its reusability and ability to return experiments to Earth, a capability shared only with NASA’s shuttle orbiter.

The X-37B is designed for extended-duration missions, with some lasting over two years in orbit. Technologies tested by this spacecraft include advanced guidance systems, thermal protection, avionics, and autonomous orbital flight, among others.

Historical Context of the Mission

Its flexibility and secrecy have been highlighted by former Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, who noted its ability to alter orbit close to Earth, making its trajectory unpredictable.

This mission marks the X-37B’s seventh spaceflight since its debut in 2010 and the first time it will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Previous missions have used Falcon 9 and Atlas V rockets.

With information from Fox Business.

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