Elon Musk's SpaceX announced Sunday that a planned Space Force mission involving the U.S. military's secretive X-37B spacecraft was postponed a day due to weather.

The launch was initially scheduled to take place on Sunday at 8:14 pm ET from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but was postponed to the same time on Monday night when weather conditions were expected to be more conducive to launch.

SpaceX said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that it is “now targeting Monday, December 11, to launch the Falcon Heavy mission USSF-52, with favorable weather conditions expected to improve to 70% favorable.” ​​for takeoff on Monday night.”

O Boeing X-37B is an unmanned robotic spacecraft operated by the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office in collaboration with the Space Force, based on an earlier variant of the spacecraft used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

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Technicians in hazmat suits perform checks on the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle 1 after it lands Dec. 3, 2010, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. (Photo by U.S. Air Force/Michael Stonecypher/DoD/Corbis via /Getty Images)

Also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, the X-37B is designed as a reusable spacecraft launched vertically into orbit by a launch vehicle and eventually re-enters Earth's atmosphere like a space plane landing horizontally on a runway.

O air force said it is the first vehicle since NASA's space shuttle with the ability to return experiments to Earth for analysis.

While many of its operations and tests remain secret, the service said in a fact sheet that technologies tested by the X-37B include advanced guidance, navigation and control, thermal protection systems, avionics, high-temperature structures and seals, reusable conformal insulation , lightweight electromechanical flight systems, advanced propulsion systems, advanced materials, and autonomous orbital flight.

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Launch of the X-37B spacecraft

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-6) launches from pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 17, 2020. (Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via /Getty Images)

The X-37B was designed to remain in space on long-duration missions, lasting at least 270 days – although some of its missions have lasted much longer. The X-37B's fifth mission reached 780 days in orbit, while its sixth mission lasted from May 17, 2020 to November 12, 2022, totaling 908 days in orbit.

In 2019, former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said the X-37 was “fascinating” because it can alter its orbit when it is close to Earth. She added that “it means our adversaries don't know…where this will happen next.”

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The upcoming X-37 mission would be the spacecraft's seventh spaceflight since its debut in April 2010. It would be the first time an X-37 has been launched into orbit in a SpaceX Falcon heavy rocket. Its fifth mission was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket, while the last mission used an Atlas V rocket.

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