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U.S. Spaceplane Watched

The military closely followed last year’s flight of a new U.S. spaceplane but hasn’t decided yet whether it needs a similar craft, Russia’s Space Forces chief said Thursday.

Lieutenant General Oleg Ostapenko said the military closely observed orbital maneuvers of the U.S. X-37B unmanned spaceplane during its maiden flight that lasted more than seven months.

The U.S. Air Force said the primary purpose of the flight, which ended in December, was to test the craft itself but classified its actual activities in orbit, leading to speculation about whether it carried some type of spying system.

Ostapenko said Russia has conducted some preliminary work on a similar design but that no decision has been made yet on whether it needs such a craft.


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