CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., March 5, 2011 - A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket successfully launched the second Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-2) for the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office (AFRCO) at 5:46 p.m. EST today from Space Launch Complex-41.
The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction, and concept of operations development for long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies. The first OTV mission was also successfully launched by a ULA Atlas V from Space Launch Complex-41, on Apr. 22, 2010. It later landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Dec. 3.
"The ULA team is proud to have played a critical role in successfully launching both of these important missions of the Orbital Test Vehicle for the Air Force RCO," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. "It took a tremendous amount of teamwork to successfully launch both vehicles in less than a year. I am confident that the information collected by the Rapid Capabilities Office from these missions will lead to even bigger and bolder missions in the future. Congratulations to the combined Air Force and ULA launch team and our many mission partners that made today's successful launch possible."
This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 501 vehicle configuration, which includes a 5.4m diameter payload fairing. The booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL-10A engine. ULA's next launch, currently scheduled for March 11, is a mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) aboard a Delta IV rocket from Space Launch Complex-37.
ULA program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., Harlingen, Texas, San Diego, Calif., and Denver, Colo. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA Web site at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).