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Originally published Friday, January 3, 2014 at 1:00 PM

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Florida space center home to secret spacecraft

The Kennedy Space Center will be the testing site for a top-secret Air Force space plane.


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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. —

The Kennedy Space Center will be the testing site for a top-secret Air Force space plane.

Boeing is the contractor working on the spacecraft, and the company announced Friday that it will convert a former space shuttle building for the X-37B orbital test vehicle program.

An undisclosed number of workers will recover, refurbish and relaunch the 29-foot-long unmanned spacecraft.

The Air Force launched the most recent flight of the unmanned spacecraft from Florida's Space Coast more than a year ago.

It was the second flight for the original X-37B space plane. The craft circled the planet for seven months in 2010. A second X-37B spacecraft spent more than a year in orbit.

The mystery machines are about one-quarter the size of NASA's old space shuttles and can land automatically on a runway.



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