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SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is ready to launch a secret mission for the US Armed Forces

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is ready to launch a secret mission for the US Armed Forces

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket will launch on the night of December 28 aboard an X-37B from Florida. (Reuters/Tom Burr)

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is ready for a new launch on Thursday. From NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, at 8:07 p.m. local time, it will launch on a mission for the US Air Force and Space Forces. On this occasion, it will be your pregnancy X-37B spaceplane Belonging to the United States Armed Forces, it is an unmanned and autonomous vehicle that will be transported to unprecedented heights. Although the specific destination of the space plane has not been revealed, the event will be broadcast live on the SpaceX website, as confirmed by media outlets such as Forbes And CNN.

Often shrouded in mystery and speculation, the X-37B has attracted the attention of the space community for its maneuvers outside the public domain. Comparable in appearance to a miniature NASA space shuttle and characterized by its autonomy and reusability, the X-37B has carried out important research, including studying the transfer of solar energy from space for use on Earth, and conducting experiments on seeds to evaluate its effects. radiation.

This flight marks the X-37B's seventh space mission and promises to make major contributions to military and space research. Attention in this mission is focused on potential applications for its unknown payload and the information it will collect during its stay in space.

Details of the X-37B's shipment and mission remained classified (Shutterstock)

The Dec. 28 launch marks the first time Martin and Boeing have launched. The capacity of the Falcon Heavy missile, which generates more thrust than the Falcon 9 and Atlas V missiles combined, indicates that The X-37B could head to farther orbits, perhaps toward the Moon or Mars.

Paul Graziani, CEO of COMSPOC, a company that specializes in tracking space objects, noted when asked CNN If the spacecraft ventures into space, it will be very difficult for celestial observation enthusiasts to track its location. Additionally, if military forces prefer to keep the X-37B's path hidden, they can use the sun's glare among other methods to hide it, taking advantage of its ability to perform multiple maneuvers in space.

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According to Graziani, the X-37B launch is “one of the most interesting events that has happened in space in a long time, whatever it does.” COMSPOC will attempt to locate the X-37B if it enters geostationary orbit, which is located about 36,000 kilometers from Earth and is the area where most large communications satellites operate.

With nearly 910 days on its final mission, the X-37B set a new record for duration of stay in space. (EFE/NASA/Boeing Phantom Works)

Current assignment includes NASA experiment called Seeds-2, which is looking for ways to support astronauts on upcoming deep space missions. Although the duration of this mission has not been determined, it is expected to exceed previous missions in time. The X-37B has already spent more than 3,700 days in space on unmanned missions, and is designed to land like an airplane upon its return to Earth.

The importance of the Seeds-2 experiment lies in studying the exposure of plant seeds to space radiation with the aim of developing methodologies for growing food in soil-free environments. This is crucial to supporting the lives of astronauts on long missions, such as those to the moon or beyond, where fresh supplies are difficult to come by.

In its previous mission, which ended in November 2022, the X-37B remained close to the target 909 days Consecutive flights in space, which constituted a milestone for this type of aircraft. During that voyage, it carried experimental US naval technologies designed to convert solar energy and transmit it back to Earth.

The Seeds-2 experiment plays a vital role in developing space agriculture technology, which is essential to support the lives of astronauts on missions to the moon or beyond (File)

The current mission announcement was supplemented by statements from General P. Chance Saltzman, Chief of Space Operations, who highlighted the importance of what is possible in terms of space technology, published Fox Weather. The exact date of the ship's return to Earth has not been revealed, following the prevailing trend of keeping certain aspects of these missions secret.

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