Thursday, October 25, 2012

Secret X-37B Mini-Shuttle Launch Postponed

Brevard Times - Space: Secret X-37B Mini-Shuttle Launch Postponed: "The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), the Air Force's unmanned, reusable space plane, has been re-scheduled to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V booster rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on November 13, 2012 due to a chamber pressure anomaly observed during the Delta IV medium configuration launch of a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) IIF-3 on October 4, 2012.

While the mission successfully placed the GPS satellite in a precise orbit, a lower than normal chamber pressure was observed on the Delta IV RL 10 upper stage engine.

Although the Atlas V that will launch OTV-3 utilizes a different model of the RL10 engine, ULA leadership and the Air Force have decided to postpone the currently schedule launch to allow an additional two weeks for the flight data anomaly investigation to progress to a point that will enable a thorough crossover assessment for the OTV launch to be completed."