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U.S. Air Force Launches Secret Flying Twinkie

Military's new space plane tests unnamed powers

3 min read
U.S. Air Force Launches Secret Flying Twinkie

The liftoff of an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral this month will mark one of the most secretive U.S. Air Force spaceflights in decades. Guessing the nature of the secret has become a sport among aficionados.

"This is one odd bird," military space historian Dwayne Day told IEEE Spectrum. "They're spending an awful lot of money for a test program that seems to have no real end user."

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Top Tech 2023: A Special Report

These two dozen technical projects should make significant advances in the coming year

2 min read
Top Tech 2023: A Special Report
Edmon DeHaro

Each January, the editors of IEEE Spectrum offer up some predictions about technical developments we expect to be in the news over the coming year. You’ll find a couple dozen of those described in the following special report. Of course, the number of things we could have written about is far higher, so we had to be selective in picking which projects to feature. And we’re not ashamed to admit, gee-whiz appeal often shaped our choices.

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