Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Atlas 5 Rocket: Air Force's secret mini-shuttle blasts off

Image: A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying the U.S. military's X-37B spacecraft lifts off from launch complex 41 in Cape Canaveral, Florida December 11, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Scott Audette

An unmanned Atlas 5 rocket carrying a small robotic space shuttle lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday for the third flight in a classified military test program.

The 196-foot (60-meter) rocket blasted off at 1:03 p.m. ET (1603 GMT) carrying the military's original X-37B experimental space plane, also known as an Orbital Test Vehicle, or OTV.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/11/us-space-military-idUSBRE8B500I20121211