History was made Wednesday as an unmanned aircraft landed on an aircraft carrier for the first time.
The X-47B, built by Northrop Grumman, took off from Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland and was captured on the USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Virginia.
After successfully landing and being "trapped" on the carrier, the unmanned aircraft was then launched from the vessel and landed on it again, CNBC has learned. The Department of Defense reported that a third attempt by the X-47B was called off after the drone "self-detected a navigation computer anomaly." It landed safely at NASA's Wallops Island.
The unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAS) is one of two Northrop built for the Navy to demonstrate the potential of using such drones from—and landing them on—aircraft carriers. Already, the X-47B has successfully been launched from the carrier and done so-called "touch and goes," but today's landing marked the first time the aircraft was captured on the flight deck.