n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - Tracking secret satellite : news note




South African amateur astronomers recently played a pivotal role in tracking a secret satellite. The fourth flight of the secret US Air Force mini-shuttle, also known as the X-37B or OTV-4 (Orbital Test Vehicle) was launched by ULA (United Launch Alliance) atop an ATLAS V rocket from Cape Canaveral on the 20th May 2015 at 15.05UT. As per previous missions of this spacecraft only the first four and a half minutes of the launch were carried live on internet TV before a news blackout took place to conceal the orbit of the classified spacecraft.


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