Friday, December 3, 2010
X-37B Secret Space Plane Returns To Earth Under The Cloak Of Darkness
At 1:16AM PST last night the X-37B secret space plane burned a hole through earths atmosphere in a fiery reentry and landing at Vandenberg AFB. The mini shuttle touched down autonomously on the 15,000' runway that was originally built for returning space shuttles. This mornings landing completed a 225 day mission that had satellite watchers everywhere guessing what the little space plane was going to do next. Since there were several orbital maneuvers during the mission it is assumed to have been an intelligence gathering payload because these were in line with similar maneuvers made by known intel. sats.
With the Secret Classification on the mission we can't even begin to guess at the state the vehicle is in post landing or if the mission had any anomalies. The only word so far is that it was a success. Hopefully we will get some sort of press release in the near future.
More info. on the landing can be found here at SpaceFlightNow