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Secret Space Plane, U.S. Air Force's Robotic X-37B, Continues Mysterious Mission

Published: February 23, 2013
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Source: Huffington Post

The U.S. Air Force's mysterious X-37B space plane is quietly chalking up mileage in space more than two months after its latest launch into orbit.

The robotic X-37B space plane soared into orbit atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Dec. 11. The mini-shuttle's mission is known as Orbital Test Vehicle-3 (OTV-3), since it is the third classified mission under the Air Force's X-37B program.

How long OTV-3 will remain in Earth orbit is unknown. The hush-hush space plane mission is officially on Air Force space tracking books as USA-240.

"The mission is ongoing," Air Force Maj. Eric Badger, a spokesman for the X-37B program, told SPACE.com. "As with previous missions, the actual duration will depend on test objectives, on-orbit vehicle performance and conditions at the landing facility." [Photos: U.S. Military's X-37B Space Plane]

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