X-37B Launch Delayed

The Air Force and United Launch Alliance have delayed the scheduled space launch of an Atlas V rocket carrying an X-37B reusable spaceplane from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., until Nov. 13, according to a posting at the company’s website. This mission, designated OTV-3, will be the second space jaunt for the Air Force’s first X-37 orbital test vehicle. The launch delay will give engineers more time to analyze the data from the anomaly of a Delta IV RL-10B-2 upper-stage engine during a GPS IIF satellite launch on Oct. 4, according to ULA, which supplies both the Atlas and Delta rockets. “Although the Atlas V that will launch OTV-3 utilizes a different model of the RL-10 engine, ULA leadership and the OTV customer have decided to postpone the currently scheduled 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,” said ULA officials. Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Tracy Bunko told the Daily Report on Oct. 24 that “there is no problem” with the X-37 vehicle.