The robotic X-37B space plane is also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle
The Boeing X-37B, U.S. Air Force classified spaceship, is scheduled to land at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Tuesday, said officials.
The robotic spaceship is ending its third classified mission to the Earth orbit that lasted 672 days (22 months). The space plane’s purpose remains a mystery.
Colonel Keith Baits, 30th Space Wing Commander said Friday “Team Vandenberg stands ready to implement safe landing operations for the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, the third time for this unique mission."
The Boeing X-37B’s first mission was launched in April 2010 and landed in December that same year (225 days flight). A second vehicle was launched in March 2011 as part of the same program, and landed in June 2012 (469 days flight).
This third launch took place at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and has been flying the Earth’s orbit since then. In March, the classified spacecraft broke its record for a continuous flight in orbit.
The exact time of the landing is still unknown according to Vandenberg Air Force Base official, because it depends on weather conditions, but it is expected to land between 3 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday.