The Dec. 11 launch of the U.S. Air Force’s third X-37B mission took place only after the service acknowledged “acceptable risk” associated with unknowns surrounding the yet-to-be-competed RL10B-2 upper-stage engine anomaly investigation, according to an Air Force Space Command spokeswoman. A probe into the low-thrust anomaly during an Oct. 8 GPS launch has verified that a leak occurred in the RL10B-2 engine. But a root cause continues to elude investigators, and satellite owners are ...

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