LOS ANGELES — An unmanned Air Force space plane steered itself to a landing early Saturday at a California military base, capping a 15-month clandestine mission.
The spacecraft, which was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida in March 2011, conducted in-orbit experiments during the mission, officials said. It was the second such autonomous landing at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles. In 2010, an identical unmanned spacecraft returned to Earth after seven months and 91 million miles in orbit.
By Alicia Chang, © Associated Press 2012 — http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/j
I'm sure there is a reason for plastering this across the face of every newspaper and (probably) television set in the world – and I'm equally sure that it is a poor one.
Quoting Lt. Col. Robert Hill-Murray, late of His Majesty's Indian Army: "This is the only nation that runs a secret intelligence service in the headlines of a major newspaper." The colonel said that in the 1960s and it would seem that not much has changed since then.
I note that quite unfortunately this is not the first time I've quoted the colonel on this and related matters. The icon sums up my feelings on the matter.