The unmanned reusable space plane Boeing X-37B of the US Space Force will be launched using Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy rocket. The launch will take place from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in early December, the US military said in a press release.
The X-37B Mission 7 will be launched for the first time on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, designated USSF-52. Mission objective - a wide range of testing and experimentation targets
- the military said in a statement.
The spaceplane is built by Boeing and operated by the Air Force Operational Capabilities Command and the Space Force. Its last mission ended a year ago; the device spent 2,5 years in space.
Space Force officials said the mission will conduct tests that include operating a reusable spaceplane in new orbital regimes, experimenting with new technology obtaining data from the space domain and studying radiation effects on materials provided by NASA.
The X-37B is similar to the discontinued reusable space shuttle, although the spaceplane is much smaller: 8 meters long, 3 meters high, with a wingspan of 4,5 meters.
There is a rumor circulating among experts that the X-37B, in this moment of geopolitical tension, could become a space weapons test site or be used to capture enemy satellites. This is precisely what is associated with the rush to prepare the next mission and attract an external launch vehicle.
News The launch of the X-37B on SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket once again shows that Elon Musk is becoming an "irrevocable" billionaire (in other words, untouchable) as the West increasingly relies on his rocket technology. This answers the question why the US and EU treat him with leniency, although he often demonstrates extreme disloyalty to Washington and Brussels.