Atlas V to Launch Third Orbital Test Vehicle FlightRocket/Payload: An Atlas V 501 configuration will launch the Air Force's Third Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3) mission. ULA is providing the launch service on behalf of the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office.Date/Site/Launch Time: Tuesday, Oct. 30, from Space Launch Complex-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.Launch Notes: The OTV-3 mission marks the 34th Atlas V launch since its inaugural launch in 2002. Atlas V vehicles also launched the OTV-1 and OTV-2 missions.Mission Description: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch the U.S. military's Third Orbital Test Vehicle, a prototype space plane. The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction and concept of operations (CONOPS) development for long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies.Go Atlas! Go Centaur! Go OTV-3!
I was looking around the net when I looked at the ULA website, and saw that the launch date has slipped to October 30 (presumbly because of the RL-10 issues). http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Launch.shtml#/33/BTW I was suprised that no one has made a thread about this launch yet....
Last time there was an RL-10 issue both EELV's were down until it was resolved, at least to a point. I wouldn't be surprised if the same situation exists here.
Do we know if this is a new X-37B, or a reflight of one of the first two?
It has been stated as reflight
The military’s mysterious mini-shuttle operations might be consolidated on Florida’s Space Coast, and the upcoming third flight of the Air Force vehicle might land at Kennedy Space Center’s three-mile shuttle runway.
Should at least save time/money/infrastructure transporting back from the West Coast. Would think that the USAF would push for the skid strip on CCAFS, but guess it is too short.
Purely FWIW, I wonder if this is going to be a 'display and show off' mission that will be more 'public' than the other two. After all, there really can't be much to test except reuse on this flight. Maybe they want a day landing at CCAFS as a crowd pleaser.