Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mystery Surrounds Air Force's Secretive X-37B Space Plane Landing Plan

Date: 20 January 2012 Time: 04:00 PM ET
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An Air Force photographer snapped this profile view of the X-37B shortly after its landing on Dec. 3, 2010, which marked the end of the secret vehicle's maiden space mission.
An Air Force photographer snapped this profile view of the X-37B shortly after its landing on Dec. 3, 2010, which marked the end of the secret vehicle's maiden space mission.
CREDIT: USAF/Vandenberg Air Force Base
The United States Air Force's secretive X-37B space plane has been circling Earth for more than 10 months, and there's no telling when it might come down.
As of Friday (Jan. 20), the mysterious robotic X-37B spacecraft has been aloft for 321 days, significantly outlasting its stated mission design lifetime of 270 days. But it may stay up for even longer yet, experts say, particularly if the military views this space mission — the second ever for the hush-hush vehicle — as something of an endurance test.

MORE: http://www.space.com/14305-secret-x37b-space-plane-landing-mystery.html








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