Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Survives 1 Year in Orbit
by Leonard David, SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist
Date: 06 March 2012 Time: 01:02 PM ET
|NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center image shows on-orbit
functions for the reusable X-37 space plane, now under the wing of the
U.S. Air Force.
The U.S. Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane has celebrated a silent anniversary, surpassing an entire year in Earth orbit on a mystery mission for American military. Meanwhile, a third X-37B space plane mission is being readied, and could even launch later this year, SPACE.com has learned.
The X-37B space plane currently orbiting Earth is the second spacecraft of its kind built for the Air Force by Boeing’s Phantom Works. Known as the Orbital Test Vehicle 2, or OTV-2, its classified mission is under the wing of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.
Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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