High-Tech Space Planes Taking Shape in Italy, Russia | Space.com

By Jeremy Hsu, Space.com, Posted 06/04/10

Link: http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/plans-new-reusable-space-planes-10060...

The U.S. Air Force's secretive X-37B space plane may eventually get some company in low-Earth orbit as other countries such as Italy and Russia push forward with plans for their own reusable winged spaceships.

Italy's prototype space plane, named Pollux, successfully carried out high-speed maneuvers that slowed it down from a falling speed of Mach 1.2 during a test flight in April. More recently, Russia has begun considering whether to revive a Cold War era, air-launched mini-shuttle in response to the U.S. X-37B space plane debut.

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