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A prestigious aerospace magazine on Sunday laid out what it called "considerable evidence" that the U.S. military funded the development and testing of a small orbital space plane in the 1990s.
In an article posted to its Web site, Aviation Week & Space Technology reported that the two-person "Blackstar" space vehicle may have made more than one orbital mission. But it said the project may have since been "quietly mothballed," possibly for budgetary or operational reasons.The report was met with skepticism from other aerospace industry observers, and even Aviation Week conceded that the evidence was inconclusive.
In the report, senior editor William B. Scott said that Aviation Week has been investigating "myriad sightings of a two-stage-to-orbit system that could place a small military spaceplane in orbit" over the past 16 years.