April 12, 2010

Secret Space Plane Nears Maiden Voyage

The U.S. Air Force is on the verge of showcasing the new X-37B space plane — in a space mission that’s cloaked in secrecy.

Secret Space Plane X-37B

Secret Space Plane X-37B

This undated image released by the U.S. Air Force shows the X-37B spacecraft. Now ready for a boost into orbit from Florida on April 20, the reusable robotic X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is a small space shuttle-like craft. The craft will wing its way into Earth orbit, remain aloft for an unspecified time, then high-tail its way back down to terra-firma – auto-piloting down to a landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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