X-37B robotic space plane aims for Thursday launch - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

X-37B robotic space plane aims for Thursday launch

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Air Force is poised to launch an unmanned winged spacecraft resembling a miniature space shuttle this week and it probably won't be a one-time shot.

Gary Payton, Air Force deputy under secretary for space programs, said Tuesday the Air Force has contracted for a second space plane depending on the success of the prototype's maiden flight.

While in orbit, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle will conduct classified technology experiments. The spacecraft is slated to launch Thursday from Florida and can stay in orbit for up to nine months. It will autonomously glide back to Earth and land on a runway in California.

 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

 

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