New research suggests a plasma bubble in the high atmosphere blocked radio communications during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan, which lead to a deadly US helicopter ambush.
The United States military's high-technology branch is hoping to test out on-orbit satellite servicing in orbit in the next five years.
Amateur astronomers have glimpsed beneath a cloak of secrecy shrouding the military's miniature robotic space shuttle, which was launched last month on a trial run.
The hush-hush mission of a robotic miniature space shuttle, known in military parlance as the "Orbital Test Vehicle," or X-37B, is heading for a California landing this week, the Air Force said Tuesday.
The Air Force's secrecy-shrouded unmanned space plane returned to Earth early Friday.