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Air Force's secret X 37B space plane just scored a big win

The Air Force's secret X-37B space plane just boosted its public profile, taking home the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy for advancing "the boundaries of flight and space exploration," according to an Aug. 13 service release.

"As the world's only autonomous, reusable space plane, it continues to contribute to our understanding of both space and air flight," said Jim Albaugh, chairman of the National Aeronautic Association, which sponsors the competition.

The trophy has been given out annually for American achievement in aviation and space since 1911. Previous winners include Orville Wright, Howard Hughes, the Apollo 11 lunar landing team, Apollo 8, Mercury 7 and, more recently, the International Space Station.

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