[SatNews] The U.S. Air Force and its mission partners are scheduled to launch the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle and ULTRASat secondary payload designated AFSPC-5 aboard the Space and Missile Systems Center acquired United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V launch vehicle on
Wednesday, May 20, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The launch window for this event is 10:45 a.m. - 2:45 p.m. EDT. The Atlas V launch vehicle will fly in the 501 vehicle configuration with a five-meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters, and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.
"Each space-launch mission necessitates a dedicated focus on mission success," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the Air Force's Program Executive Officer for Space and SMC's commander. "Guaranteeing assured access to space for our nation is a team sport that requires a significant effort and hours of dedicated work by the entire government-industry team to make it successful."
This is the fourth time the X-37B has flown on an Atlas V launch vehicle. The heart of the first stage is the common core booster which is about 106 feet in length and more than 12 feet in diameter. The common core booster can provide thrust up to 850,000 pounds at full throttle.
Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.