Secretive X-37B space plane lands after 2 years
A secretive military space planelanded Friday in California after nearly two years in space. The unpiloted X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle touched down at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 12:24 p.m. Eastern time, concluding a mission that launched from Cape Canaveral on Dec. 11, 2012. That's 674 days. "The landing of OTV-3 marks a hallmark event for the program," says an Air Force press release, quoting an unnamed X-37B program manager. "The mission is our longest to date and we're pleased with the incremental progress we've seen in our testing of the reusable space plane." The flight was the third by a Boeing-built X-37B since 2010, totaling 1,367 days in low Earth orbit. It was the first repeat flight by one of the two reusable vehicles.
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