An unmanned mini space shuttle is on the ground at Cape Canaveral after a surprise landing and startled Central Florida awake with a sonic boom yesterday morning.
The U.S. Air Force says the X-37B shuttle made its safe return to Kennedy Space Center Sunday after a secret, two-year mission. The U.S. military is mum on the details of the mission, only to say that it conducted, quote, "an experimental test program to demonstrate technologies for a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the U.S. Air Force." The craft is only 29 feet long and has a nearly 15 foot wingspan.
Lt. Col. Ron Fehlen, X-37B program manager, said in a press release. "This mission once again set an on-orbit endurance record and marks the vehicle's first landing in the state of Florida. We are incredibly pleased with the performance of the space vehicle and are excited about the data gathered to support the scientific and space communities. We are extremely proud of the dedication and hard work by the entire team."