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Air Force Mystery Plane
News Bytes 10/30/2019 31 Comments

Secret missions and stealth landings. Sound like a sci-fi novel? A real-life top-secret spacecraft returned to Earth over the weekend after completing a record-breaking two-year top-secret mission. The landing has ignited new theories about what the U.S. Air Force is doing with its high-flying technology.

The Boeing X-37B is an Orbital Test Vehicle, or OTV. Robotic, solar-powered OTVs launch like space shuttles but land like airplanes. At about 29 feet long, the X-37B is one-fourth the size of a typical space shuttle. The vehicles fly by remote control without a crew. They are at least partly reusable because of their advanced reentry abilities.

The most recent OTV mission, known as USA-277, was the fifth spaceflight by a vehicle like this. The first took place in 2010. USA-277 launched aboard a SpaceX rocket in 2017. Its 780-day mission sets a new endurance record for the reusable test vehicle.

Some experts believe the Air Force is conducting various hush-hush experiments. Others believe it is merely testing reusable launch systems.

USA-277 landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida early Sunday morning. The Air Force is keeping extremely quiet about exactly what the plane did in orbit. However, officials do say this latest OTV mission successfully completed its goals and that experiments from the Air Force Research Laboratory were aboard.

The U.S. Air Force website reveals some of the technologies that its OTVs are testing. These include seals, advanced insulation, electrical, and propulsion materials—as well as cutting-edge self-flying, reentry, and landing systems.

The sixth mission is planned next year with another OTV launch from Cape Canaveral.

(The Air Force’s X-37B successfully lands at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility. U.S. Air Force,October 27, 2019 via AP)

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Most recent comments

1st comment

Cool! It's so funny, we recently got back from vacation and we actually ate dinner near Cape Canaveral on our last night. Anyway, this is pretty interesting, I didn't know that the Air Force had "top-secret missions" but it makes sense.

Whaaaaat?

Why are they testing on SEALS?! That's just strange. I don't really care about this type of stuff, but whatever. I'm also nervous they're doing all this stuff in Florida. All these sites where they are testing these things are close to my home. I hope an accident doesn't occur.

@ Carys M.

I'm pretty sure they mean "seals" as in keeping things together, not the animal. But yeah, I had to read that part of the article at least twice. I was pretty confused for a second there.

Lena P

Ohh that makes a little more sense LOL but I wouldn't be surprised if they WERE testing seals.

Seal means Navy Seals. They

Seal means Navy Seals. They carry out different top secret missions. They are trained more and know more than the army, navy, and USMC.

@Isaac

I don't know USMC's are pretty hard to beat! But this is pretty cool!! I wonder what they were doing? Spooky right?

This is Massimo A

nice 2 years in secret

This is Nadia.

Wow. And then you have the UFO people saying it was an alien! This is neat. I wonder what else are military is doing.

Very interesting!

This is soooo cool! They did a good job keeping it a secret...to be honest I would not have been able to keep it a secret for two years!

(One more thing ;) )

Has anyone heard of HIS STORY the musical, by Anna Miriam Brown? Oh My! You have to listen to it!!! I would suggest it to anyone!!! It is the best!

Familys

that is really cool, but... what about all the family's of those people? I wonder how they kept it a secret from them. its like, "hi mom, ... yes I know we haven't seen each other in almost two years... no I can't come for dad's birth-day... yes, I am working. again." that would be so devastating to close family.

@ MIRELA

Happy Birthday!!!!

crazy!

crazy!

i wonder what they do up

i wonder what they do up there

I wish i were there

I wish i were there

Spacecraft

Maybe is was unmanned? Also, they might have chosen people who had no family.

To above

It was unmaned. It said in the article.

Family

The vehicles fly by remote control without a crew. They are at least partly reusable because of their advanced reentry abilities.

@ Arlie B

I have heard of that! My dance teacher plays it in class

@Isaac

Sorry but when they said "The U.S. Air Force website reveals some of the technologies that its OTVs are testing. These include seals, advanced insulation..." then they continue to say stuff about what they r working on so i thought it did mean seals as in seals that keep stuff shut not navy seals because then it sounds like they r working on them and that would not be right!! Is that just me did i read it wrong??

@Bella C

I love it! That is so cool that you have heard of it! Not many people have! ;)

@Hannah S

I also interpreted it as meaning seals that seal stuff.

@ Arlie B

I really think more people should! What's your favorite song from it?

Janna

Interesting............................I think it would be cool and interesting to be in the military.

@ Hannah S.

Yeah, I interpreted it as sealing things, not Navy Seals. Whoops.

@Bella C

I think my favorite one is "Was the word " (the first one) Probably....I like a lot of them!!

On the topic of seals...

If it is remote controlled and has no crew, they are probably talking about sealing the air inside. After all, space is a vacuum and they have to keep the O2 inside somehow.

To Above

Hmmm...... you have a point....

The U.S. Air Force website

The U.S. Air Force website reveals some of the technologies that its OTVs are testing. These include seals, advanced insulation, electrical, and propulsion materials—as well as cutting-edge self-flying, reentry, and landing systems.

Haha just reread the article I think it is obviously talking about sealing the plane! Not seals as in the animal or Navy Seals!

If it were Navy Seals they

If it were Navy Seals they would at least capitalized it!!
I think any way! Lol

@Beth H

Yeah. They probably would have. And anyway this is the Air Force not the Navy.

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