Mystery Plane Returns: Space Plane Lands, Secrecy Surrounds Unmanned X-37B

October 20, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Mystery plane returns to earth after 674 days in space and the military has no explanation on its mission. The mysterious X-37B Orbital landed at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California last week.

X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle

On Friday morning, the mysterious X-37B Orbital also known as Orbital Test Vehicle or X-37B, landed at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. The automated space plane measures over 29ft long, has a wingspan of nearly 15ft and a weight of 11,000lbs.

The return of the top secret plane has conspiracy theorists going wild. The aircraft, which looks like a small space shuttle orbited the earth for almost two years and when the military was asked what was its mission, they gave vague answers. According to a representative for the US military, the mysterious plane was testing:

“Technologies including advanced guidance, navigation and control, thermal protection systems, avionics, high temperature structures and seals, conformal reusable insulation, lightweight electromechanical flight systems, and autonomous orbital flight, re-entry and landing.”

When the plane blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on December 11, 2012, via United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rockets, the military stated that the trip was supposed to last 9 months. So, why was the mission extended to 2 years, the military has declined to comment.

The silence from the military is giving conspiracy theorists the opportunity to come up with their own answers. Some say the plane was spying over China or Russia. Others claimed that Barack Obama‘s administration is trying to make contact with aliens in space.

Few stated that the government is using the plane to conduct weird science fiction-like experiments on soldiers in order to have the ultimate army. This is not the first time the elusive plane has created so much buzz.

In April 2010, the plane was launched in space and returned after eight months. The second launch took place in March 2011 and it remained in space for 15 months. The military had little to say on those two past missions.

The plane is scheduled to take part in several trips in the future and the dates and goals of those missions are mysteries. Below is a clip of the X-37B Orbital’s return.

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    Comments (4)

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    1. Bill says:

      At least the thing actually works.

    2. Karl says:

      I think the incredible number of secret military shuttle flights over 30 years to be even more intriguing than this bird. One can only perform so many experiments with gravity before things get a tad repetitious. It is quite possible that a large orbiting military space base has been created.

    3. Chris says:

      The Chinese and Russians know all the details.

    4. nelson summers says:

      Its great that we are still traveling to space and doing experiments We need to keep our space programs alive and working although its unmanned soon they will be manned again I hope That’s the edge that the US needs to keep ahead in technology and military dominance Im glad they are doing secrete stuff in space with the new space plane it keeps us ahead of the game I hope we are always number one when it comes to space travel and technology We cant afford for another country to get ahead of us or it could be trouble


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