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Secret US space plane lands in Florida after 2 years in orbit: 5 things you need to know

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Tue May 09 2017, 12:28 pm
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    The U.S. military's experimental X-37B space plane landed on Sunday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, completing a classified mission that lasted nearly two years, the Air Force said. (Reuters)

  • United States,air force,DARPA,NASA,Pentagon,US,X-37B,US,SPACE,MILITARY,SPACEPLANE,General News,Science,Space Exploration,Florida,

    The unmanned X-37B, which resembles a miniature space shuttle, touched down at 7:47 a.m. EDT (1147 GMT) on a runway formerly used for landings of the now-mothballed space shuttles, the Air Force said in an email. (Reuters)

  • United States,air force,DARPA,NASA,Pentagon,US,X-37B,US,SPACE,MILITARY,SPACEPLANE,General News,Science,Space Exploration,Florida,

    The Boeing-built space plane blasted off in May 2015 from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas 5 rocket built by United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co. (Reuters)

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    The X-37B, one of two in the Air Force fleet, conducted unspecified experiments for more than 700 days while in orbit. It was the fourth and lengthiest mission so far for the secretive program, managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. (Reuters)

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    The orbiters "perform risk reduction, experimentation and concept-of-operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies," the Air Force has said without providing details. The vehicles are 29 feet (9 meters) long and have a wingspan of 15 feet, making them about one quarter of the size of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s now-retired space shuttles. (AP)

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