Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Top-Secret Mystery Military Spacecraft Launched

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X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle


     CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The military’s small, top-secret version of the space shuttle rocketed into orbit Tuesday for a repeat mystery mission, two years after making the first flight of its kind.

The space plane, dubbed the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, was launched into orbit hidden atop an Atlas V rocket Tuesday for a classified Air Force mission that could last more than nine months.

This is the third time the Air Force will send an X-37B into orbit. It resembles a miniature space shuttle, is 29 feet long with a wingspan of 15 feet, and draws solar power for energy using unfolding panels. . . .

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