US military launches space plane

Air force sends unmanned X-37B into orbit on secret mission.

    The United States Air Force (USAF) has launched a secret space plane into orbit, carried in the nose of an Atlas 5 rocket.

    The USAF is not calling the X-37B a weapon or anything else, and the classified mission was broadcast live, but only for several minutes into the flight.

    The plane, built by Boeing, was originally part of a Nasa programme but was later abandoned and turned over to a secretive USAF unit.

    There are no details on how much it costs or when it is coming back to earth, but when it does return the unmanned craft will land itself, using the onboard autopilot.

    Al Jazeera's Mark Orchard reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.