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Atlas launches X-37B on third mission
Posted: Wed, Dec 12, 2012, 6:09 AM ET (1109 GMT)
Atlas 5 launch of OTV-3 (ULA) An Atlas V successfully launched on Tuesday a classified military spaceplane. The Atlas 5 501 lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 1:03 pm EST (1803 GMT) carrying an X-37B on the Orbital Test Vehicle 3 (OTV-3) mission. The launch, which took place despite forecasts that called for only a 30 percent chance of acceptable weather at launch time, was declared a success by the Air Force, although it released few other details about the mission. The launch is the seconde for this particular X-37B, which first flew in space on the OTV-1 mission in 2010. The Air Force has not disclosed the missions of any of the three X-37B missions, leading to speculation that the vehicles are performing roles range from technology demonstration to reconnaissance.
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