X-37B space plane returns to earth

December 4th, 2010  

Topic: X-37B space plane returns to earth

LA Times
"The X-37B robotic spacecraft, which resembles a miniature version of the space shuttle, touched down at Vandenberg Air Force Base early Friday morning, marking the first time an American unmanned vehicle returned from orbit to land on its own.
Until now, the space shuttle was the only reusable space plane capable of returning to earth.
"This marks a new era in space exploration," Paul Rusnock, the X-37ís program director for Boeing Co., which made the spacecraft, said in a statement.
The mysterious X-37B was launched April 22 from Cape Canaveral, Fla. That means it spent more than seven months orbiting the Earth."


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