Mysterious mini shuttle on track for Tuesday launc...: The Air Force is set to launch its second X-37B mini shuttle to space, which has rival nations and space buffs wondering what it is the craft does, exactly. By Todd Halvorson and Tim Walters Posted Dec. 7, 2012
An Atlas V rocket is poised for launch on its Cape Canaveral pad today, but the forecast for the planned launch Tuesday of a military mini-shuttle is not favorable.
The United Launch Alliance rocket and an Air Force X-37B spacecraft are scheduled to blast off at 1:03 p.m. Tuesday at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 41. [snip]
Mounted atop a mobile launch platform, the Atlas V and its payload moved out of its 30-story assembly building today and made the 1,800-foot trip to the launch pad along rail tracks. Two specially designed “trackmobiles” transported the rocket to the pad.
The launch of the X-37B will be the first re-flight of one of the experimental spaceplanes. The vehicle was launched in April 2010 on a 224-day technology demonstration mission, the exact nature of which remains classified.
A second X-37B spacecraft launched in March 2011 and flew a 469-day mission.
X-37B is capable of autonomous atmospheric reentry and landing, and the
first two missions concluded on a runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base
in California. (continue at Florida Today)