USAF X-37B Space Plane Returns from 780 Days in Orbit Written 28 October 2019

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. | Associated Press–©

Reuters reports that the Department of Defense’s “secretive X-37B spaceplane landed in Florida on Sunday after a record-long orbital flight lasting more than two years, the U.S. Air Force said.” The spacecraft “touched down on an air strip at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 3:51 a.m. ET after spending 780 days orbiting Earth as the Air Force’s fifth flight mission under the Orbital Test Vehicle program, the Air Force said.” The unpiloted spaceplane, manufactured by The Boeing Company, “was sent into orbit in 2017 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, embarking on a mission managed by the Washington-based Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office to conduct various classified technology experiments in a long-duration space environment.” In a statement, United States Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett said, “The X-37B continues to demonstrate the importance of a reusable spaceplane.” She added, “Each successive mission advances our nation’s space capabilities.”
Full Story (Reuters)