The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 3 (OTV-3), the Air Force’s unmanned, reusable space plane, landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:24 a.m. Oct. 17, 2014. The OTV-3 conducted on-orbit experiments for 674 days during its mission, extending the total number of days spent on-orbit for the OTV program to 1367 days. The X-37B is the newest and most advanced re-entry spacecraft. Managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, the X-37B program performs risk reduction, experimentation and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies. (Photo credit: Boeing) Continue reading »
The probe, carrying a rover dubbed Jade Rabbit that will survey the moon’s geology and natural resources, landed at about 9 pm Beijing on Saturday, the Xinhua News Agency said. China’s achievement comes 47 years after the Soviet Union performed a soft landing of its Luna 9 spacecraft on the moon.
The launch is part of the Asian nation’s growing space exploration ambitions, an effort which has seen the country spend billions of dollars even as other nations cut back. For its next step, China wants to land a lunar rover and return it to Earth in 2017, according to Xinhua. Continue reading »