In the News: Mystery Mini Space Shuttle X-37B Lands in California
This story goes on to provide details about the shuttle, including quotes from military officials, none of which are mysterious. Other headlines about the same topic called the shuttle “Secretive” (here) and “Secret” (here).
Here’s some breaking news: If you know about something, then it’s not a secret. Also, inanimate objects can’t be “secretive”. The word describes behavior of people or animals who’re hiding something. But we might forgive that last one, since it’s a British paper and they regularly use the language differently than we do (though I’m sure their definition of the word is the same as ours).
All these stories (and others that I found) had the name of the craft, the military designation, the exact size and weight, date and time of launch and landing, length of trip, height and shape of orbit, location of launch and landing, and more, not to mention photos and video of the craft in action.
In fact, the only thing any of the stories mentioned that could be called “secret” was the payload of the shuttle, which hasn’t been revealed to the press since it’s marked classified — in other words it’s illegal for those in the know to tell us what it was.
If there’s anything mysterious or secret about the shuttle itself, the writers uniformly neglected to tell us, which is odd. Part of a news writer’s training includes telling the reader what unanswered questions remain. For example: “Military officials declined to describe the materials that make up the shuttle” (if the mystery is what it’s made of). Or “Specific information about the remote control systems was unavailable” (if the mystery is how the craft is remotely controlled). And so on.