A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 501 rocket carrying the Air Force's X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-6) lifted off on Sunday at 9:14 a.m. EDT, from Space Launch Complex-41. This marks the 84th successful launch of an Atlas V rocket. This is the sixth flight of the X-37B. Details of the mission are classified.
Along with OTV-6, this mission deployed FalconSat-8, a small satellite developed by the U.S. Air Force Academy and sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory to conduct experiments on orbit. The mission also carried two NASA experiments, including a material sample plate to determine the results of radiation and other space effects on various materials, and an experiment which will assess space effects on seeds used to grow food. Another experiment sponsored by the Naval Research Laboratory will examine the ability to transform solar power into radio frequency microwave energy which could be transmitted to the ground.
ULA's next launch is NASA's Mars 2020 mission carrying the Perseverance rover on an Atlas V rocket. The launch is scheduled for July 17 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.