Top-secret space plane lands on California coast

Top-secret space plane lands on California coast

A top-secret space plane has landed safely on the Southern California coast.

Officials at Vandenberg Air Force Base said the plane, which spent nearly two years orbiting Earth on a classified mission, touched down Friday morning.

The plane, known as the X-37B, resembles a mini space shuttle.

Just what the plane was doing has been the subject of sometimes spectacular speculation.

Several experts have theorized it carried a payload of spy gear in its cargo bay.

Other theories sound straight out of a James Bond film, including that the spacecraft would be able to capture the satellites of other nations or shadow China's space lab.

The military isn't saying.

The X-37B program has bounced between several federal agencies, NASA among them, since 1999.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)