Air Force spaceplane aims for June landing
An unmanned U.S. Air Force spaceplane that has been in orbit for over a year is coming back to Earth.
The Pentagon’s experimental craft, which resembles a mini space shuttle, is slated to land at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The exact date depends on weather and other conditions, but the Air Force said May 30 it expects the landing to occur in early to mid-June.
Officially called the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, it blasted off in March 2011 and was the second of its type to be launched.
The first made an autonomous landing in 2010 at Vandenberg after a 270-day mission.
Measuring 29 feet long with a wing span of 15 feet, the latest X-37B has stayed in orbit longer. Its exact mission is largely a mystery. AP
White House issues veto threat on veterans bill
The White House is warning that President Barack Obama will veto a widely popular House spending bill for veterans’ programs and construction projects at military bases.
The veto promise comes because House GOP leaders are breaking faith with last summer’s budget deal by cutting overall funding for agency operating budgets by $19 billion, almost 2 percent.
The House takes up the $148 billion measure May 31.
The veto promise doesn’t find fault with the funding levels in the veterans’ measure itself. Instead, it says that the GOP moves on spending will force deep cuts to domestic programs like education, research and health care in subsequent legislation. AP
Navy training jet crashes; two eject safely
A Navy training jet has crashed on remote South Texas ranchland, but not before both occupants of the two-seat jet ejected safely.
A Navy statement says the single-engine T-45C Goshawk went down about 3:30 p.m., CDT, May 30 about 45 miles southwest of the airfield, or about 75 miles southwest of Corpus Christi.
Navy Lt. John Supple says the aircraft from Training Squadron 22 at Naval Air Station Kingsville was on a routine training flight when it went down. He said he had no reports on whether the flight instructor and student were injured, but they have been recovered and taken to a hospital for examination.
Supple said their identities are being withheld. AP