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blastoff

SpaceX just launched a secret military spaceplane

SpaceX launch.

On Thursday morning, with Hurricane Irma churning just 900 miles away, SpaceX launched a U.S. Air Force X-37B spaceplane atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This marked the Elon Musk-founded company's first launch for the Air Force.

The uncrewed plane is headed off on a super secret mission that's scheduled to last 270 days, though the Air Force cryptically warned that "the actual duration depends on test objectives, on-orbit vehicle performance, and conditions at the landing facility." The only clues the Air Force dropped for what it hopes to accomplish on this highly classified mission were that "the primary objectives of the X-37B are twofold: reusable spacecraft technologies for America's future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth."

After the launch, SpaceX successfully landed a Falcon 9 rocket for the 16th time.

Watch it all below. Becca Stanek