U.S. Air Force’s secret space plane lands in Florida

U.S. Air Force’s secret space plane lands in Florida

An unmanned military space plane launched in May 2015 touched down at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, 7th of May.

The U.S. Air Force’s robotic X-37B space plane landed at around 8 a.m. after circling Earth for a whopping 718 days, marking the first landing at the facility since the final space shuttle mission made landing there in July 2011.

The plane is question is a compact, delta-wing craft with a payload bay, a solar power boom and a highly-sophisticated computer control systems.

Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander of 45th Space Wing, said, “Today marks an incredibly exciting day for the 45th Space Wing as we continue to break barriers … This mission once again set an on-orbit endurance record and marks the vehicle's first landing in the state of Florida.”

It was the fourth secret flight of the X-37B, and it also marked the longest in the spy program as well as the first to end in Florida. Two hangars at the facility have been modified to handle the clandestine spy craft.

The first three flights of the secret program ended with landings at Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Los Angeles. The fifth launch is expected to take place sometime later this year.