02 December 2014 News

X-37B spaceplane lands safely

The US Air Force landed its uncrewed and reusable X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OV-1) spaceplane at Vandenberg AFB on 17 October 2014, after 674 days in orbit. Boeing manages the vehicle and its secret mission work, which likely includes optical and electronic surveillance, plus operational evaluation for future US national security related tasks. The X-37 programme is intended to provide rapid response capabilities and this was its third successful flight since its original 2010 launch atop an Atlas V rocket. It is intended that future operations will be carried out from the Kennedy Space Center, where the former shuttle Orbiter Processing Facilities are leased to Boeing. The X-37 has now completed more than 1,367 days in space since its introduction and first flight in 2010.

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