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X-37B mini-shuttle to launch Wednesday

Atlas V rocket to carry craft into space

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(Florida Today)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A launch readiness review Monday morning concluded with a "go" for an Atlas V rocket to proceed toward a Wednesday morning launch from Cape Canaveral of the Air Force's X-37B mini-shuttle.

The launch period opens at 10:45 a.m., with the latest forecast now showing a 60 percent chance of favorable weather, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.

The exact launch window will be released on Wednesday.

The Atlas V is expected to roll from a vertical processing tower a short distance to its Launch Complex 41 pad at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

If the mission doesn't launch Wednesday, forecasts still show weather deteriorating on Thursday, to a 30 percent chance of acceptable conditions.

In addition to the space plane, the Atlas V rocket will also deploy 10 small CubeSats. One of the secondary payloads is The Planetary Society's citizen-funded LightSail mission, which will test a spacecraft's ability to use solar radiation for propulsion.