The USAF has had a space plane in orbit for 500 days ... on a super-secret mission

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Jul 4, 2015, 1:42 PM EDT (Updated)

It sounds like something straight out of science fiction, but it’s actually science fact. The United States Air Force has had a cutting-edge space plane in Earth orbit ... for 500 days. On a super-secret mission.

Space is reporting that the United States Air Force has had an unmanned Boeing X-37B space plane in orbit for going on a year and a half. The miniature space shuttle launched on Dec. 11, 2012.

Its mission? Good question, because Uncle Sam has not revealed what the mini-ship has been doing all this time, or when it’s coming back down. The project is being managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office’s Third Space Experimentation Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado. The unit reportedly handles everything from intelligence-gathering to experimental testing.

Though we don’t know what the X-37B is doing up there (or what happened during two previous missions), prognosticators believe it could have something to do with the agency’s initiative to extend control to space. The mission could also be related to the recently declassified Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP), which surveys objects in orbit such as debris or potential threats.

Regardless, it’s worth noting that space espionage and secret missions are afoot. What do you think they’re up to?

(Via Space)