Vandenberg Afb, Calif. -- An unmanned U.S. military mini-shuttle launched from Cape Canaveral in April glided to an automated landing in California Friday, Air Force officials said.
After a 220-day classified mission, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle touched down at 4:16 a.m. EST at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Florida Today reported.
The OTV-1 is the first U.S. unmanned vehicle to return from orbit and land on its own.
"We are very pleased that the program completed all the on-orbit objectives for the first mission," Lt. Col. Troy Giese, X-37B program manager, said in a statement.
"This marks a new era in space exploration," said Paul Rusnock, X-37B program director for The Boeing Co., the spacecraft's prime contractor.