A Dutch amateur astronomer claims to have snapped the US’s most secret plane to date.
The US Air Force’s mysterious X-37B craft conducts intelligence operations from orbit.
Built by Boeing and flown remotely, the craft – also known as Orbital Test Vehicle 4 – is on a mission the U.S. will only describe as ‘classified’.
But it was finally pictured by Ralf Vandebergh, an aeronautics journalist and amateur space photographer who has apparently been chasing the elusive machine for months.
He told LiveScience that he had been able to track it down in May but wasn’t able to get photos of it. Then, it seemingly disappeared. ‘When I tried to observe it again [in] mid-June, it didn’t meet the predicted time and path,’ Vandebergh explained. But a week ago, he did catch it apparently.
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“It turned out to have maneuvered to another orbit. Thanks to the amateur satellite observers’ network, it was rapidly found in orbit again, and I was able to take some images on June 30 and July 2.”