Start getting excited: tomorrow is a big day in space adventuring! As I write this, last minute preparations are being made on a mighty United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket sitting on a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Not only does the rocket contain a tiny cubesat with the Planetary Society Solar Sail, it is also launching the not-very-secret Air Force robot space shuttle, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (currently the world’s only known operational space plane program—each robot lander can spend years in space working on classified missions).
All of this amazing stuff, along with 9 other cubesats will be riding into space via the Atlas rocket’s second stage—a next generational launch platform evocatively known as “The Centaur.” According to news sites, the launch window for this mission is Wednesday [May 20th ,2015] from 10:45 a.m. ET and 2:45 p.m. You can watch live on webcam (but remember lots of things can push a mission back).
I would be live-blogging this extravaganza, but I have my own mission tomorrow morning: relaunching my imploded career. I will be putting on my navy suit and heading off to the temp company. Presumably the great masters have some tedious administrative tasks for me to perform and they will not hurl me into the endless black void like little X-37B (although given today’s economy, who can really say?)
Wish everyone luck! Hopefully there will be no Russian-style crashing and burning with either venture…