Built by Boeing Co's Phantom Works, the 5-ton craft is 3 meters tall and 9 meters long, with a wingspan of less than 4.5 meters. It has two angled tail fins rather than a single vertical stabilizer. Unlike the shuttle, it will be launched like a satellite, housed in the nose of an expendable Atlas V rocket. The Air Force released only a general description of the mission objectives: testing of guidance, navigation, control, thermal protection and autonomous operation in orbit, re-entry and landing. The mission's length was not released but the Air Force said the X-37B can stay in orbit for 270 days.
Posted by rlssec