The US Space Force (USSF) and the top-secret US Air Force (USAF) X-37B spacecraft have been launched on their next mission.
Images from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida show the spacecraft just launched.
The video shows the spacecraft, housed in an Atlas V rocket, flying into space. But cameras on board the rocket had to stop recording to the public after five minutes at the request of the USSF.
“At our customer’s request, this morning’s live broadcast will be closed after confirmation of engine start on the Centaur’s top stage,” an expert explained during the broadcast today.
Space.com explained that this live webcast was interrupted “due to the classified nature of the mission.”
The X-37B has flown four classified missions to date, carrying secret charges on long flights in Earth’s orbit.
A fact sheet for the vessel provided by the USAF partially revealed the purpose of its missions.
It said, “The primary objectives of the X-37B are twofold: reusable space technologies for the future of America in space and operational experiments that can be returned to and explored on Earth.”
The X37-B vessel is 29 feet long, 9.6 feet long, and weighs approximately 11,000 lbs.
But very little is known about the purpose of his missions in space.
It has led to intense speculation by conspiracy theorists online, which some believe is a probe designed to disable satellites, while others claim it is spying on Chinese space activities.
In a rare sighting, the spacecraft was shown earlier this month in a new US Space Force recruitment ad.