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The X-37B mini space shuttle made a stealth landing during the early morning hours, landing at Vandenberg Air Force base at 1:16 a.m. PDT (0916 GMT) today (Friday, Dec. 3.) The US Air Force’s first unmanned space plane successfully glided to a landing after nearly 225 days in space.
X-37B program manager Lt Col Troy Giese stated moments after landing, “We are very pleased that the program completed all the on-orbit objectives for the first mission.”
Above is an infrared camera view of the space plane taxiing after landing this morning.
The space plane’s exact mission was not divulged, and the Air Force did not immediately report anything about the performance of the spacecraft or if any issues arose.
The X-37B’s mission is to “demonstrate a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the United States Air Force,” according to a fact sheet put out by the military. “Objectives of the OTV program include space experimentation, risk reduction and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies.”
Source: Space Launch News