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| The Air Force’s experimental X-37B space plane announced the end of its nearly two-year mission by creating a sonic boom on Sunday that surprised residents along Florida’s Space Coast. Officials have provided only vague details about the unmanned craft’s more than 700-day mission.
“Not much is known about the 30-foot-long robotic spacecraft or what it took to space,” as member station WMFE reports.
The X-37B is an “orbital test vehicle” that looks like a miniature space shuttle — it even used the old shuttle runway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center when it landed Sunday. To reach orbit, it rides on an Atlas V rocket.
By Bill Chappell