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Secretive Air Force space plane nears orbital record

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Leonard David
msnbc.com
Thursday, December 1, 2011

The secretive X-37B robotic space plane is about to set its own space-endurance record on a hush-hush project operated by the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

The craft, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle-2, was boosted into Earth orbit atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on March 5. On Wednesday, the X-37B spacecraft will mark its 270th day of flight — a lifetime in space that was heralded in the past as the vehicle’s upper limit for spaceflight by project officials.

The Space.com infographic depicts the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, an unmanned space test vehicle made for the U.S. Air Force.

“It’s still up there,” U.S. Air Force Maj. Tracy Bunko of the Air Force Press Desk at the Pentagon, told Space.com, noting that project officials planned for a 9- month-plus mission, “so we’re close to that now.”

Full story here.

This article was posted: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 10:38 am





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