Local news media in California. The US military has reported that they landed its robotic space plane at Vandenberg Air Force base in California on Friday Oct 16, 2014. This is ending a classified 22-month mission that some people believed to be related to spying.
This Spy plane is known as “X-37B” and conducted unspecified experiments for 674 days while in orbit. The X-37B was built by Boeing to perform “risk reduction, experimentation and concept-of-operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies”, but still the missions are secret.
In a written release announcing the craft’s return, the Air force only said it had been conducting “on-orbit experiments”.
“I’m extremely proud of our team for coming together to execute this third safe and successful landing, said commander Keith Balts of the US military’s 30th space wing.
US officials have denied the project had anything to do with creating a “space weapon” that could knock down other satellites. But why else would you send a drone into space for 2 years and not let anyone know why? Hmmmm, makes you wonder huh.
The plane stands 2.75m tall and is nearly 9m long, with a wingspan under 1.4m. It weighs 5,000kg and has solar panels that unfurl to charge its batteries once in orbit. It travels at up to 25 times the speed of sound as it circles the earth.
The US Air force is preparing to launch the fourth X-37B mission from Cape Canaveral in 2015. The expected length of its next mission is classified unknown.
So we shall see!!