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Space plane returns from secret mission, lands at Vandenberg
Space plane returns from secret mission, lands at Vandenberg

The Pentagon’s secret space plane, which has been orbiting Earth for nearly two years on a mysterious mission, landed Friday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County. The Air Force has said little about the purpose of the robotic space plane, which has been paid for through the Pentagon’s veiled “black” budget. “It’s all very hush-hush,” said Diana Ball, a spokeswoman for Boeing, which developed the plane for the government at its Phantom Works research facilities in Huntington Beach. The plane, which looks like a miniature space shuttle, was launched atop an Atlas V booster from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Dec. 11, 2012....

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