SpaceX launched the fifth mission of the U.S. Air Force‘s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle on Thursday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
OTV-5 lifted off at 10:00 am Eastern time aboard a Falcon 9 rocket equipped with a first stage booster that landed at Cape Canaveral AF Station after stage separation, according to SpaceX.
Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander of the 45th Space Wing, said in a statement published Thursday the event marks the spaceplane’s first launch aboard Falcon 9.
Boeing built the vehicle to support the service branch’s experiments and efforts to demonstrate reusable technologies in space.
The Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office manages the OTV mission.