75°
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
3 Day Outlook
Mon
79°
56°
0%
Tue
82°
59°
0%
Wed
84°
65°
20%

Latest Weather Blog

Follow our weather team on social media

Air Force sends mystery mini-shuttle back to space

2 years ago Tuesday, December 11, 2012 10:39:33 AM CST December 11, 2012 Tuesday, December 11 2012 Dec 11, 2012 in News
Source: Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A top-secret mini-space shuttle has blasted off from Cape Canaveral.

The Air Force launched the unmanned spacecraft Tuesday aboard an Atlas V rocket.

It's the second flight for this original X-37B spaceplane. It circled the planet for seven months in 2010. A second X-37B spacecraft spent more than a year in orbit.

These mystery machines are about one-quarter the size of NASA's old space shuttles and they can land automatically on a runway.

The military isn't saying much if anything about this new secret mission. But one scientific observer, Harvard University's Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, speculates the spaceplane is carrying sensors designed for spying and likely is serving as a testbed.

The two previous secret flights were in roughly 200-plus-mile-high orbits.

More News

comments powered by Disqus

Desktop News

Click to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
5 Days
Radar
Today
75°
64°
Mon
Mostly Sunny
79°
56°
Tue
Partly Cloudy
82°
59°
Wed
Mostly Sunny
84°
65°
Thu
T-Storms
86°
68°