SpaceX Wins Launch Of U.S. Air Force X-37B Space Plane

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp will fly its first mission for the U.S. Air Force in August when it launches the military’s X-37B miniature spaceplane, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said on Tuesday.

Four previous X-37B missions were launched by United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets.

FILE PHOTO: The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 3 space plane is shown after landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California October 17, 2014 in this handout photograph provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base. REUTERS/Boeing/Vandenberg Air Force Base/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

“SpaceX will be sending the next Air Force payload up into space in August,” Wilson said during webcast testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. She later specified that the payload would be one of the Air Force’s two X-37B spaceplanes.


FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Airforce’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 4 after landing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., May 7, 2017. U.S. Air Force/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

(Reporting by Irene Klotz. Editing by Joseph White and Steve Orlofsky)

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