Enlarge / The Falcon 9 rocket is ready to launch an Air Force spy plane. (credit: SpaceX)
Florida has a lot to worry about right now with the imminent arrival of Hurricane Irma, but before the storm arrives this weekend, SpaceX is trying to squeeze out one more launch.

And it’s a big one.

The company’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch the US Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle on its fifth mission.
Few details are available about this secretive mission, but the primary launch window opens on Thursday 9:50am ET, and closes at 2:55pm ET. Weather conditions Thursday are about 50 percent favorable for launch.

A backup window is available on Friday, although this is uncertain due to the need for Floridians to prepare for Irma.
For the first four missions, the Boeing-developed X-37B space plane has launched on top of an Atlas V rocket, the military’s go-to vehicle manufactured by United Launch Alliance. However, earlier this year Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told Congress that the emergence of the commercial space industry has proven a boon for the US military and that the military felt comfortable launching the X-37B on a SpaceX rocket.
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