The second X-37B launches tomorrow. Since we’ll soon have no more shuttle launches to watch from the front lawn, these will help fill the gap.
The Air Force is tight-lipped on the missions, but it’s widely speculated that (among other things) the X-37B will help protect our carriers from ballistic missiles. It is one cool ride.
UPDATE: From space.com
The secrecy shrouding the X-37B space plane has spawned rumors – which Air Force officials have denied – suggesting that it could be tasked with capturing or destroying enemy satellites. But the X-37B is too small and not maneuverable enough to be a viable space weapon or weapon platform, experts say.
Instead, the vehicle’s main mission is most probably what Air Force officials have claimed all along: a flying test-bed for new space sensors and other next-generation satellite equipment.