STATES CHRONICLE – After spending almost two years in space, X-37B, the experimental space plane developed by the Air Force, landed with a sonic boom on Sunday and took Florida residents by surprise. However, the officials did not give many details on this spacecraft and its mission.
X-37B finished its fourth mission
The spacecraft was described as an orbital test vehicle, but it resembles a miniature space shuttle. To reach orbit, scientists attached it to an Atlas V Rocket, and then used the old runway at Kennedy Space Center for its landing.
This is not the first time when this spacecraft went on a space mission. However, it is the first time when it lands in Florida. Its other three previous mission had as a landing site the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The Air Force does not offer much information regarding the mission
The Air Force was quite secretive about this mission, and refused to confirm any rumors that the spacecraft would land in Florida. This is why the sonic boom surprised the residents and was followed by a storm of tweets and online commentaries.
The Air Force confirmed the landing after all, but only after it occurred. Until then, those who lived in Central Florida experienced a lot of anxiousness as their ground was rattles and their houses shaken by the sonic boom. However, not only them felt the effects of the landing, as they even reached as far as Tampa and Fort Myers.
Since the Air Force was reserved to make commentaries regarding the spacecraft, people made numerous speculations on its uses. They suspect that the Air Force uses it for military purposes, such as surveillance or combat. However, the agency says this mission is meant to test several technologies, ranging from guidance, thermal protection, or propulsion.
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