Billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX launches a secret Air Force space drone

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The hurricane itself is not expected to make landfall on Florida until this weekend, but conditions at the Cape are expected to worsen throughout the day and be even worse during tomorrow's launch window, so SpaceX's best chance to get the X-37B to space before the storm is this morning.

SpaceX has conducted their 13th successful launch of 2017 after sending Boeing's X-37B spaceplane into orbit.

With Hurricane Irma set to barrel down upon the US shortly, SpaceX will attempt to launch a US Air Force drone into orbit today.

In 2012, SpaceX became the first commercial company to rendezvous with the International Space Station.

But the landing was a secondary objective.

Syria Complains to UN After Strike: Israeli Aggression Has Become a Norm
Such a strike is "exceptional", he said, and shows that " Israel won't allow the stockpiling and production of strategic arms". The UN did not assign blame in that attack, though it is widely thought it was carried out by the Syrian government.

What's also unclear how long the X-37B will remain in orbit. Boeing houses and prepares the X-37B spaceplanes for launch inside former space shuttle hangars near the space center's huge Vehicle Assembly Building. By comparison, Nasa's retired space shuttles were 122ft long with a 78ft wingspan.

In total, the vehicle has more than 2,000 days in space. The last mission, which ended in May, spent a record-breaking 718 days in space.

SpaceX has launched the US Air Force's super-secret space shuttle, a technology tester capable of spending years in orbit. This secrecy has spawned some speculation that the vehicle may be a space weapon of some sort. The OTV is created to demonstrate reusable spacecraft technologies for America's future in space and operate experiments, which can be returned to and examined on Earth.

Publicly, the Air Force says the X37-B is a testing platform for advanced technologies for spaceflight, but few details have ever been provided. Video coverage of the booster's plunge back to Earth continued, and three of the first stage's Merlin 1D powerplants restarted high over the Atlantic Ocean for "boost-back" and "entry" burns to steer the rocket back toward land. A third competition, for the mid-2018 launch of the multi-spacecraft Space Test Program-3 mission, went to United Launch Alliance in June.

SpaceX has been valued at $21bn (£16bn), making it one of the most valuable privately owned companies in the world.

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