X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle

Atlas V-501
Image Credit: ULA TV

The Launch of the U.S. Air Force X-37B is scheduled for 4:52 PM Phoenix time, today 22 April 2010. At the present time, the weather is good. The Launch team is not working any issues.

Several minutes from now, at about 4:46 PM , a poll of all systems will be made. At 4:48 PM, the launch will resume at T-minus 4 minutes.

The poll is complete, and the count will be resumed in about 60 seconds

T-minus 2 minutes and the vehicle is on internal power.

Launch occurred at 4:52 PM Phoenix time (7:32 PM EST).

Image Credit: ULA TV
Lift Off
Image Credit: ULA TV
90 Seconds
90 Seconds into the Flight
Image Credit: ULA TV
3 Minutes
3 Minutes into the Flight.
Image Credit: ULA TV
Animation: X-37B with Centaur
Image Credit: ULA TV
Image Credit: U.S. Air Force


The X-37B has a long history, dating back to 1999. Boeing built the X-37 for NASA at its Phantom Works in California.

The project was transferred from NASA to DARPA in 2004. The first free-flight test took place in 2006, when it was dropped from the White Knight, Scaled Composites’ carrier for SpaceShipOne.

In late 2006, the Air Force announced it would develop the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, based on the X-37. The Air Force cryptically states that the mission of the X-37B is to “demonstrate various experiments and allow satellite sensors, subsystems, components, and associated technology to be transported into space and back.”

NASASpaceFlight.com has an excellent article on the current X-37B project.

Pre-Launch X-37B
Image Credit: Wikipedia

5 thoughts on “X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle

  1. Pingback: April 2010 « NSS Phoenix Space News

  2. Pingback: December 2010 « NSS Phoenix Space News

  3. Pingback: X-37B Landing « The National Space Society of Phoenix

  4. Pingback: X-37B Entering Second Year in Orbit « The National Space Society of Phoenix

  5. Pingback: Air Force X-37B Returns « The National Space Society of Phoenix

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s