Tuesday, June 19, 2012
An unmanned spacecraft X-37B U.S. Air Force
Space plane Air Force landed on separately in a military base in California, following a secret mission 15 months. The unit conducted experiments in orbit after its launch in March of 2011 the Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral in Florida, authorities said. The unmanned spacecraft is the second of its kind to land autonomously on Vandenberg Air Force, 209 kilometers (130 miles) northwest of Los Angeles.
In 2010, another identical spacecraft returned to Earth following a seven-month mission and an orbital path of 146.4 million kilometers (91 million miles). For his return from space, the robot spacecraft X-37B, plump wings, fired its engines to get out of orbit, traversed the atmosphere and planned as airplane to descend on the track.
"Following the withdrawal of the fleet of Space Shuttle, the X-37B OTV, uniquely promotes the development of space technology," said Lt. Col. Tom McIntyre, program manager of the X-37B.
"The ability of returns (multiple) allows the Air Force testing new technologies without the same exposure to the danger faced by other programs. We are proud of the effective efforts of the entire team to achieve this remarkable conclusion of the mission," he said. After the return of the second X-37B, the Air Force plans to relaunch the first ship in the third quarter although no exact date.
Both vehicles twins are part of a military program that experienced with technologies for reusable spacecraft and robotic autonomous control. Although the Air Force emphasizes that the aim was to test the spacecraft itself, the secret nature of the cargo on board raises all sorts of speculation about the purpose of his mission.
Some experts believe that the ship fans carrying a spy satellite experimental sensor due to the inclination which was traveling at a low orbit, suggesting that sought information and intelligence was not to telecommunications. Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, who runs Jonathan's Space Report publication, which tracks space launches and satellites in the world, considered it possible that the ship is testing a new imaging system.
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