US air force to launch secretive X-37B spacecraft into orbit in days

The US Air Force has announced plans to launch its secretive, unmanned spacecraft known as X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) later this week to carry out “experimental operations.”

For the first time, the experimental space plane will be launched on September 7 aboard Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the Air Force announced in a statement cited in a Friday report by the US-based news outlet.

Marking the fifth mission for the X-37B, the statement noted, the OTV “will also be launched into, and landed from, a higher inclination orbit than prior missions to further expand the X-37B’s orbital envelope.”

While the payloads and most activities of the robotic X-37B remain classified, the Air Force further noted that this mission will carry “the Air Force Research Laboratory Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader (ASETS-II) payload to test experimental electronics and oscillating heat pipe technologies in the…

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