Photo gallery: Air Force sends mystery mini-shuttle back to space

(AP)

(AP)

The military isn’t saying much if anything about this new secret mission. But one scientific observer, Harvard University’s Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, speculates the spaceplane is carrying sensors designed for spying and likely is serving as a testbed.

The two previous secret flights were in roughly 200-plus-mile-high orbits.

(Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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