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Small, unmanned US spacecraft back on Earth

December 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A secrecy-shrouded unmanned spaceplane that looks like a mini-space shuttle is back on Earth.The U.S. Air Force's X-37B orbital test vehicle landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base early Friday morning.

It was launched by an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. in April.

The spacecraft was originally a NASA project before being taken over by the military.

Its mission is classified, but the Air Force said the primary purpose was to test the craft itself.

It is expected to return to space next year.


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