A new classified military spacecraft mission is launched.
A United States military spacecraft has been launched for the third time to orbit around Earth.
The previous missions were in 2010 and 2011 and lasted for 224 and 469 days in orbit for the unmanned, reusable X-37B spacecraft.
NASA passed the project to the Pentagon in September of 2004, and the reports about the missions have been classified since then.
The US government has been secretive about the launch and unspecific about the tests that they have been conducting with the ship, which led people to speculate about the government using it to spy on the Chinese Tiangong-1 space lab, a theory that was discredited after being reported by Spaceflight magazine.
The X-37B spacecraft is designed by Boeing, and is only a quarter of the size of the retired US space shuttle.
On it’s first mission into orbit, the X-37B was the first unmanned vehicle to autonomously reenter Earth and land on the surface by itself in all of the US space program’s history.
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union had a successful autonomous space shuttle reentry and landing back in 1988 with the Buran space shuttle.
What kinds of testing do you think the US government is carrying out in space?