Just last week, Western Journalism told you about the major milestone reached in the U.S. Navy’s new carrier-based drone program. Called the X-47B, the unmanned combat air vehicle was successfully refueled in mid-air for the first time. That means the tail-less, jet-powered drone is moving even closer to becoming the battlefield-ready aircraft that never has to land.
Now, fast on the heels of the Navy’s progress in proving the capabilities of the X-47B, the Air Force announces the next phase in the testing of its own super-advanced unmanned vehicle, the X-37B. Resembling a miniature version of NASA’s now-retired space shuttle, the X-37B military space plane is scheduled to launch on its fourth mystery mission on May 20th from Cape Canaveral. The website Space.com reports that the official Air Force line about the launch is that the vehicle will be subjected to “testing of experimental payloads.”
“The X-37B’s payloads and specific activities are classified, so it’s unclear exactly what the spacecraft does while zipping around the Earth.”
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A recent CNN report noted that the Air Force mystery plane on its last flight spent some 22 months orbiting the Earth, sparking all sorts of speculation about what exactly it was doing high above the planet. You can watch the CNN coverage of the X-37B, or the Air Force Ortibal Test Vehicle, by clicking on the video above.