(ORLANDO, FLA) — Mysterious ‘sonic booms’ rumbled Central Florida residents awake early Saturday morning.
The suspected cause of the noise was Boeing’s X-37B, an unmanned spaceplane that returned to Earth after spending 908 days in orbit, completing its sixth mission with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force.
“The Boeing-built #X37B has landed at @NASAKennedy, marking the completion of its sixth mission with the @SpaceForceDoD,” tweeted Boeing Space, confirming the successful re-entry of the spaceplane. “The award-winning spaceplane broke yet another endurance record, spending 908 days on orbit.”
The Boeing-built #X37B has landed at @NASAKennedy, marking the completion of its sixth mission with the @SpaceForceDoD. The award-winning spaceplane broke yet another endurance record, spending 908 days on orbit.
— Boeing Space (@BoeingSpace) November 12, 2022
Boeing Space said in a news release the spaceplane landed safely at 5:22 a.m. at the Kennedy Space Center, the same time residents heard the sonic booms at around 5 a.m.
The unannounced landing of the classified space plane drove concerned bystanders to seek answers on social media.
“We have a secret shuttle fleet they’re stealth and nuclear powered one of them was coming in Oh yes and there are plasma cannons in the bays,” one user suspected. “They are for defending us against incoming alien threats. Go ahead laugh all you want.”
“Glad to know I wasn’t going through a break-in this morning in the 5 o’clock hour here in Orlando, Florida because…dang, what a startling rumble that was.”
“Certainly no louder than a loud thunder clap. The central Florida people should be used to this kind of thing, they have a very distinct sound,” another tweeted.
The arrival of the U.S. Air Force and Space Force aircraft was kept confidential, but many suspect the sonic booms confirmed it’s re-entry, as the booms were heard prior to the landing.
The X-37B reportedly spent a total of 3,774 days in space and has flown over 1.3 billion miles.