12/12/2012
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying the military’s original X-37B experimental space plane, also known as an Orbital Test Vehicle, or OTV, lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday at 1:03 p.m. EST for the third flight in a classified military test program. The unmanned, reusable space shuttle, one of two operated by the U.S. Air Force, spent 224 days orbiting Earth during its debut mission in 2010. A sister ship launched in 2011 and landed itself after 469 days in space, completing the second orbital test flight. The military is not saying how long the third X-37B mission will last, nor what the vehicle will be doing in orbit. (Image Credit: ULA)
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