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OTV/X-37B


Tyneside, UK
2021 Apr 11
Sunday, Day 101

Maintained by:















Mission 1

2010-015
Atlas V 501, AV-012
Cape Canaveral
2010 Apr 22, 23:52
USA 212 (OTV-1, X-37B#1 Flight 1)
2010-015A
36514
Re-entered - 2010 Dec 3
Life 225 days Returned to Earth
First flight of the USAF Boeing-built X-37B space plane fitted with a classified payload. Launched at the beginning of a 4 hr launch window. Landed Vandenberg runway 2010 Dec 3 with wheel stop at 09:16:02 UTC. Launch delayed from April 20. Originally planned for release from Space Shuttle, the X-37B was transferred to an Atlas V following orbiter Columbia's destruction in 2003. Orbital elements not released by Spacetrack so parameters are based on amateur observation.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
2010 May 23, 09:3467870.001639842092.7439.99209
2010 Aug 22, 09:5868140.001242844493.3039.97352
2010 Aug 30, 08:5968140.000743144193.3039.9953
2010 Oct 15, 10:0367680.000338839292.3639.99230
2010 Nov 05, 16:1066980.005728135790.9140.00351
2010 Nov 24, 17:5166620.000128428590.2039.9976
2010 Nov 29, 04:2666610.000627928790.1740.0033
Atlas V upper stage
2010-015B
36515
in space
Launched USA 212 (OTV-1/X-37B). After releasing the satellite, it was placed on an Earth escape trajectory.
Heliocentric orbit


Mission 2

2011-010
Atlas V 501, AV-026
Cape Canaveral
2011 Mar 5, 22:46
USA 226 (OTV-2, X-37B#2 Flight 1)
2011-010A
37375
Re-entered - 2012 Jun 16
Life 469 days Returned to Earth
Second X-37B space plane - making its first flight. A mission by the first X-37B flight model was undertaken during 2010 and this second flight will refine some of the tests that it undertook. Mission originally planned for 270 days to Nov 30 but, on that day, USAF announced an indefinite extension. 2012 May 30 - USAF let it be known that the X-37B will return to Vandenberg AFB during tthe first two weeks of June, it landed 2012 Jun 16 at 12:48 UTC. Orbital elements not released by Spacetrack so parameters are based on amateur observation.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
2011 Mar 30, 03:1367070.001232133791.1142.81148
2011 Nov 27, 18:2167130.001432534491.2242.7614
2012 Jan 07, 21:2167130.001032834191.2242.7819
2012 May 18, 02:0966620.002826530290.1942.80208
Atlas V upper stage
Re-entered - 2011 Mar 5
Life <1 day
Launched USA 226 (OTV-2/X-37B). Caused to re-enter above the southern Indian Ocean about 55 minutes after launch.
Not Catalogued - orbit parameters unavailable


Mission 3

2012-071
Atlas V 501, AV-034
Cape Canaveral
2012 Dec 11, 18:03
USA 240 (OTV-3, X-37B#1 Flight 2)
2012-071A
39025
Re-entered - 2014 Oct 17
Life 675 days Returned to Earth
Second flight of the first model of the USAF/Boeing X-37B space plane. Detailed payload and mission purpose are unknown. Launch by United Launch Alliance an behalf of USAF Rapid Capabilities Office. Landed on the runway at Vandenberg AFB 2014 Oct 17 at 16:24 UTC. The first orbit listed is an estimate by Ted Molczan based on observations from Cape Town by Greg Roberts soon after launch. Element sets were not released by Space-Track so remaining orbits are based on amateur observation.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
2012 Dec 12, 18:0067280.001234235891.5443.50327
2013 Mar 06, 00:3667750.000539340092.4943.64112
2014 Jul 22, 07:5467290.002033736591.5643.51324
Atlas V upper stage
Re-entered - 2012 Dec 11
Life <1 day
Launched USA 240 (OTV-3/X-37B). Caused to re-enter above the southern Indian Ocean about 55 minutes after launch.
Not Catalogued - orbit parameters unavailable


Mission 4

2015-025
Atlas V 501 (AFSPC-5)
Cape Canaveral
2015 May 20, 15:05
USA 261 (OTV-4. X-37B#2 Flight 2)
2015-025A
40651
Re-entered - 2017 May 7
Life 718 days
Flight of USAF/Boeing X-37B space plane, probably the second mission for vehicle number 2. Detailed payload and mission purpose are unknown. Launch by United Launch Alliance on behalf of the USAF Rapid Capabilities Office. Landed Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility 2017 May 7 at 11:47 UTC. Element sets are not released by Spacetrack so parameters are based on amateur observation.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
2015 May 27, 16:1866940.001030932290.8438.02319
2015 Oct 27, 10:0867280.000634635491.5438.02222
2015 Nov 13, 23:5866930.000631131990.8238.02338
2016 May 15, 19:1267300.000834735791.5838.03266
2016 Nov 11, 03:4267340.000335435891.6737.6773
2016 Dec 20, 18:5867160.002232335391.3038.00343
2017 Mar 25, 18:0267070.001032233691.1138.0090
USS Langley
2015-025B
40652
in space
3U CubeSat from the US Naval Academy to demonstrate the ability to host a web server aboard a CubeSat. Part of the Unique Lightweight Technology and Research Auxiliary Satellite ( ULTRASat) cluster of ten Cubesats carried on the USA-261 (X-37B) launch vehicle. Initial orbit is an estimate based on web pages describing some of the Cubesats carried on the mission.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit69070.025135570295.2055.0045
Opticube 01
2015-025C
40653
in space
3U Cubesat (one of three similar satellites carried in the same launch) built by students of California Polytechnic (CalPol). Passive satellite for use as callibration targets for orbital debris studies - each has a different coating to test ground based sensors. Project sponsored by the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Initial orbit is an estimate based on web pages describing some of the Cubesats carried on the mission.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit69070.025135570295.2055.0045
ParkinsonSat
2015-025D
40654
in space
1.5U Cubesat carrying a US Naval Academy rado receiver for collecting data from remote buoys on the ocean. It also carries two Amateur Radio transponders. Part of the Unique Lightweight Technology and Research Auxiliary Satellite ( ULTRASat) cluster of ten Cubesats carried on the USA-261 (X-37B) launch vehicle. Initial orbit is an estimate based on web pages describing some of the Cubesats carried on the mission.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit69070.025135570295.2055.0045
BRICSat-P (Ballistically Reinforced Communication Satellite )
2015-025E
40655
in space
1.5U Cubesat, from the US Naval Academy built in collaboration with George Washington University to measure the performance of miniature pulse plasma thrusters. Initial orbit is an estimate based on web pages describing some of the Cubesats carried on the mission..

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit69070.025135570295.2055.0045
Opticube 02
2015-025F
40656
in space
3U Cubesat (one of three similar satellites carried in the same launch) built by students of California Polytechnic (CalPol). Passive satellite for use as callibration targets for orbital debris studies - each has a different coating to test ground based sensors. Project sponsored by the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Initial orbit is an estimate based on web pages describing some of the Cubesats carried on the mission.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit69070.025135570295.2055.0045
GEARRS 2 (Globalstar Risk Reduction Satellite)
2015-025G
40657
in space
3U Cubesat from Taylor University, investigating the feasibility of using the Globalstar satellite comms network for command and control of cubesats and other small satellite systems and cubesats. Initial orbit is an estimate based on web pages describing some of the Cubesats carried on the mission.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit69070.025135570295.2055.0045
Opticube 03
2015-025H
40658
in space
3U Cubesat (one of three similar satellites carried in the same launch) built by students of California Polytechnic (CalPol). Passive satellite for use as callibration targets for orbital debris studies - each has a different coating to test ground based sensors. Project sponsored by the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Initial orbit is an estimate based on web pages describing some of the Cubesats carried on the mission.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit69070.025135570295.2055.0045
AeroCube 8a
2015-025J
40659
in space
1.5U Cubesat, one of a jointly-launched pair from the Aerospace Corporation, MIT and eSpace, carring an R&D payload sponsored by the National Reconnaissance Office and relating to development of Carbon Nanotubetechnology and a Scalable ion Electrospray Propulsion system (SiEPro). Initial orbit is an estimate based on web pages describing some of the Cubesats carried on the mission.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit69070.025135570295.2055.0045
2019 Sep 11, 07:1867940.012732950292.8855.02170
AeroCube 8b
2015-025K
40660
in space
1.5U Cubesat, one of a jointly-launched pair from the Aerospace Corporation, MIT and eSpace, carring an R&D payload sponsored by the National Reconnaissance Office and relating to development of Carbon Nanotubetechnology and a Scalable ion Electrospray Propulsion system (SiEPro). Initial orbit is an estimate based on web pages describing some of the Cubesats carried on the mission. For a few days in 2019 Space-Track (inadvertently?) released orbital data.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit69070.025135570295.2055.0045
2019 Sep 11, 06:2967930.012632950192.8655.02171
Lightsail 1
2015-025L
40661
Re-entered - 2015 Jun 14
Life 25 days
3U CubeSat from The Planetary
Society designed to demonstrate the viability of using solar sailing for propulsion. Part of the Unique Lightweight Technology and Research Auxiliary Satellite ( ULTRASat) cluster of ten Cubesats carried on the USA-261 (X-37B) launch vehicle. The solar sail was opened Jun 7 at 1947 UTC. Initial orbit is an estimate based on web pages describing some of the Cubesats carried on the mission. The second orbit listed is based on radio Doppler observations by amateur trackers.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit69070.025135570295.2055.0045
2015 Jun 13, 23:3767390.008530441891.7754.99258
Atlas V upper stage
2015-025M
40662
Re-entered - 2015 May 20
Life <1 day
Launched USA 261 (OTV-4/X-37B. Performed plane change from 38° to 55° inclination shortly after releasing the main payload and then released a cluster of Cubesats. Caused to re-enter above the southern Indian Ocean on the day of launch at about 17:35 UTC.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit66940.001030932290.8438.0280
estimated orbit69070.025135570295.2055.0045


Mission 5

2017-052
Falcon 9 v1.2
Kennedy Space Center
2017 Sep 7, 14:00
USA 277 (OTV-5, X-37B#2 Flight 3)
2017-052A
42932
Re-entered - 2019 Oct 27
Life 780 days Returned to Earth
Flight of USAF/Boeing X-37B space plane. The vehicle is described as a space technology demonstrator and host platform for experimental payloads. This mission also carried a number of small satellite ride share payloads but there is no indication of how or when they were released into independent orbit. Launch was by SpaceX on behalf of the USAF Rapid Capabilities Office. Landed Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility 2019 Oct 27 at 07:51 UTC.. Element sets were not released by Space-Track so parameters are based on amateur observation, the final one was calculated by Nico Janssen from radio observations.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
2018 Apr 13, 01:5967340.000335335891.6554.48306
2018 Apr 21, 21:4066950.001031032390.8654.51167
2018 Aug 19, 19:0667030.000532232991.0454.51235
2018 Aug 25, 20:2467690.003536841592.3854.50166
2018 Nov 03, 17:0367220.000933835091.4254.53169
2019 Feb 26, 00:3966960.000231631990.8854.51246
2019 Oct 08, 04:5766950.001031032490.8754.51219
2019 Oct 27, 01:3766520.000127427590.0054.52285
USA 295
2017-052C
45169
Re-entered - unknown date
Satellite of unknown purpose. Neither formally acknowledged nor catalogued until 2020 February 11. A US filing for the satellite lodged with the United Nations in 2020 and published early 2021 listed the inclination as 56°.9 and the orbit height as 182 x 356 km. The inclination suggests release from the Falcon 9 into a similar orbit (around 350 km) as USA 277 (OTV-5).
Classified object - orbit data withheld
USA 296
2017-052D
45170
Re-entered - unknown date
Satellite of unknown purpose. Neither formally acknowledged nor catalogued until 2020 February 11. A US filing for the satellite lodged with the United Nations in 2020 and published early 2021 listed the inclination as 56°.9 and the orbit height as 182 x 356 km. The inclination suggests release from the Falcon 9 into a similar orbit (around 350 km) as USA 277 (OTV-5).
Classified object - orbit data withheld
USA 297
2017-052E
45171
Re-entered - unknown date
Satellite of unknown purpose. Neither formally acknowledged nor catalogued until 2020 February 11. A US filing for the satellite lodged with the United Nations in 2020 and published early 2021 listed the inclination as 56°.9 and the orbit height as 182 x 356 km. The inclination suggests release from the Falcon 9 into a similar orbit (around 350 km) as USA 277 (OTV-5).
Classified object - orbit data withheld
Falcon 9 upper stage
2017-052B
42933
Re-entered - 2017 Sep 7
Life <1 day
Launched USA 277 (OTV-5/X-37B). Manoeuvred to 63° inclination orbit after releasing OTV-5, possibly as a re-start/burn test. Released the three smaller USA satellites carried on the launch. Caused to re-enter above the Indian Ocean about four hours after launch on its third circuit of the Earth.
Classified object - orbit data withheld


Mission 6

2020-029
Atlas V 501
Cape Canaveral
2020 May 17, 13:14
USA 299 (OTV-6, X-37B#1 Flight 3)
2020-029A
45606
in space
Flight of USAF/Boeing X-37B space plane. First to be equipped with a service module. Launch delayed from May 16 by weather. The first orbit listed is an estimate, subsequent orbits are based on amateur observation.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
2020 May 17, 13:1867310.001234436191.5944.9570
2020 May 31, 01:3467670.000238839192.3444.96104
2020 Jun 14, 02:1367650.000538439092.2945.0265
USA 300 (FalconSAT 8)
2020-029B
45610
in space
Small satellite released from USA 299, probably from the service module and probably 2020 May 28 or May 29. FalconSAT 8 (identification to be confirmed) carries five experiments/demonstrations built by cadets at the US Air Force Academy.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
estimated orbit67670.000238839192.3444.96104
Atlas upper stage
Re-entered - 2020 May 17
Life <1 day
Launched USA 299 (OTV-6/X-37B). Caused to re-enter above southern Indian Ocean about 55 minutes after launch.
Not Catalogued - orbit parameters unavailable




Page date: 2020 Mar 13
Orbits updated as needed