Mystery, Unmanned Spacecraft Launched by US
An unmanned spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Florida Thursday, April 22. It is a classified project that was not given an explanation on what is its mission from United States officials.
The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) is an Air Force space plane measuring 8.9 meters (29 feet) long and has a wingspan of only 4.5 meters.
The vehicle will “provide an ‘on-orbit laboratory’ test environment to prove new technology and components before those technologies are committed to operational satellite programs,” said the release from Air Force.
The Secretary of the Air Force meanwhile stated that the OTV program will focus on “risk reduction, experimentation, and operational concept development for reusable space vehicle technologies, in support of long term developmental space objectives.
The return landing of the OTV will be at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. How long it will stay airborne has not been revealed, though it can last in the air for 270 days.
Other information such as the cost of the program was not also released.