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Top Secret burn after reading

Monday, 10 December 2012

On the pad! An Atlas 5 rocket has arrived atop its Cape Canaveral pad for Tuesday's reflight of the U.S. military's original X-37B spaceplane, an unmanned reusable space shuttle operated by the Air Force.
After spending 224 days orbiting Earth in 2010, that same vehicle is going back to space tomorrow for another classified mission. The Atlas will insert the winged craft into low-Earth-orbit where it will operate in secret.
Riding atop its mobile launching platform, the United Launch Alliance-built rocket left the Vertical Integration Facility for the 1,800-foot trip along rail tracks to Complex 41.
The 20-story-tall vehicle, with the Orbital Test Vehicle-Flight 3 payload enclosed within the bulbous nose cone, now begins the final pre-flight activities.
Within the next hour, the auto couplers between the pad and platform will be engaged to route umbilical connections from the ground to the rocket for tomorrow's fueling of the booster with cryogenic propellants.
Ground crews will spend a few hours conducting various test sequences and removing the undercarriages used to transport the launch platform before securing the rocket for a quiet evening.
The countdown begins Tuesday morning, leading to blastoff at 1:03 p.m. EST. The length of tomorrow's available launch opportunity hasn't been publicly announced.

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