Musk launches a spaceship in a hurricane
Elon Musk, in an apparent attempt to out-cool himself, has been at the helm of SpaceX as they launched a secret space plane mission hours before a hurricane hit Florida, where they were launching from.
As reported by Sky News and The Guardian, the top secret space plane was launched at Cape Canaveral for the US Air Force.
Despite forecasts of devastating force 5 hurricane conditions, SpaceX managed to launch the mysterious X-37B spaceplane into orbit on the back of a Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday. The Falcon 9 rocket has since returned to the launchpad in what is now the 16th successful first stage booster retrieval.
The Falcon 9 rocket will now need to be moved before the hurricane hits before being refuelled and used again in one of SpaceX’s biggest achievements, becoming the first to successfully recover a rocket of this type.
The X-37B had previously been in orbit for 718 days on a previous mission, which was also classified, catching the attention of residents in the local area who reported hearing a number of mysterious sonic booms.
According to Sky News, the Air Force said the craft "performs risk reduction, experimentation and concept-of-operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies". Which presumable clears things up for you as much as it did for us.
The Guardian also picked up on the launch, reporting that there are two X-37B orbital test vehicles in existence, and between them they have already logged five and a half years in orbit. Officials will not say in detail what the spacecraft are doing up there.
The last mission reportedly lasted almost two years and ended with a May touchdown at the runway formerly used by Nasa’s space shuttles. The first one launched in 2010.
Musk now seems totally dedicated to becoming the coolest billionaire in existence, and we look forward to the next stages in this plan. There are no reports, as yet, of any intention to turn into a super villain, although he presumable possesses the means, and this is also welcome news.