Space Force Rocket Launch Dedicated to COVID-19 Victims and Responders

Tomorrow's launch of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle on an Atlas V rocket will be dedicated to COVID-19 responders and victims.

Scheduled to lift off at 8:24 a.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fl., the launch will be the sixth trip to outer space for the X-37B, commonly called the spaceplane. 

"The next time the X-37B takes off it will deploy FalconSat-8, a small satellite developed at the U.S. Air Force Academy -- where the first 86 cadets recently commissioned into the Space Force. FalconSat-8 will carry five experimental payloads and provide cadets a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience with space operations," Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett said. 

She also released a few other tantilizing clues about the highly classified X-37B, or at least its payload on this mission. On this flight it will also carry out an experiment designed by the Naval Research Laboratory in which solar energy will be converted into radio frequency microwave energy which will then be beamed back down to earth. If successful, such an experiment could pave the way for an entirely new energy source for planet earth.

“In dedicating this mission to the nation’s healthcare workers, first responders and essential personnel, the department celebrates those who are keeping America strong," Barrett stated in a press release.

The X-37B spaceplane will be launched on an Atlas V rocket. Atlas V rockets are operated by the United Launch Alliance which is a joint endeavor between Lockheed and Boeing that provides launch capability and services to the United States government.

The launch can be viewed live as it is streamed on the internet.

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Reach Jack Murphy: or @JackMurphyRGR.

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