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OTV 5 (USA 277)


OTV 5 (USA 277) is classified as:


NORAD ID: 42932
Int'l Code: 2017-052A
Launch date: September 7, 2017
Source: United States (US)
Launch site: AIR FORCE EASTERN TEST RANGE (AFETR)

OTV 5 (USA 277) is US Air Force's X-37B spaceplane, a reusable robotic mini-shuttle that could stay aloft for years with clandestine on-board experiments. Built by Boeing's Phantom Works division and managed by the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office, each spaceship has a wingspan of nearly 15 feet (4.5 meters) and a length of more than 29 feet (8.9 meters). The ship's wings fit snugly inside the 17-foot-diameter (5-meter) payload shrouds on the Falcon 9 and Atlas 5 rockets. The X-37B, also called the Orbital Test Vehicle, weighs about 11,000 pounds (5 metric tons) and has typically orbited Earth at altitudes between 200 and 250 miles (320 to 400 kilometers). No details about the X-37B's altitude or orbital parameters were released for this mission, but safety notices published for pilots and mariners ahead of the launch suggested the rocket would place the miniature windowless space shuttle into an orbit tilted between roughly 40 and 65 degrees to the equator. The Air Force announced before the launch that the fifth X-37B flight, known as OTV-5, would go into a higher-inclination orbit than earlier X-37B flights. The four X-37B missions to date flew in orbits tilted between 38 and 43.5 degrees to the equator, but the this one will reach higher latitudes on each lap around Earth.
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Source of the keplerian elements: AFSPC