The more fevered imaginations have envisioned the vehicle as a potential weapon itself; more measured reaction has suggested that the X-37B could serve as a sort of quick-reaction surveillance satellite. The 29-foot-long space plane, much smaller than the space shuttles, can stay in orbit for up to nine months.
This photo shows the X-37B against the backdrop of the fairing that would encapsulate it for liftoff atop an Atlas V rocket.
June 21, 2010 9:58 AM PDT
Photo by: Boeing, via NASA
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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