THE NEW SPACE RACE: Secretive US space plane X-37B lands after record 908 days in orbit. “The USSF didn’t respond to a request for comment, but a statement issued by Joseph Fritschen at the organisation said: ‘The X-37B continues to push the boundaries of experimentation, enabled by an elite government and industry team behind the scenes. The ability to conduct on-orbit experiments and bring them home safely for in-depth analysis on the ground has proven valuable for the Department of the Air Force and scientific community. The addition of the service module on OTV-6 allowed us to host more experiments than ever before.’ Fritschen didn’t respond to a request by New Scientist for interview.”

Everyone is very hush-hush where the X-37B is concerned.