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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ A mysterious space plane in a mysterious mission has been in orbit for 720 days

A mysterious space plane in a mysterious mission has been in orbit for 720 days




(Newser)

The X-37B military spacecraft has been in orbit since September 7, 2017 – and this week a non-played solar powered aircraft broke its own record for space flight duration. At 6:43 a.m. Monday, the current mission of the X-37B officially lasted longer than the previous one, the Orbital Test Vehicle 4 (OTV-4), which was the previous record holder in 717 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes. As Space.com explains, the current mission of the US Air Force's robotic space plane, the OTV-5, is rather mysterious; all of his missions are classified, so it's not clear what he's doing or done in previous missions. But each of the five aircraft missions is longer than the last, leading Space.com to theorize the Air Force, testing the durability of the X-37B. Other assumptions have involved testing EM Drive (hypothetical fuelless propulsion system) in space, orbital surveillance operations, or weapons research.

But the Air Force had previously denied using its spacecraft for any "offensive capabilities". "The main goals of the X-37B are twofold; reusable spacecraft technologies for the future of America in space and operational experiments that can be returned and viewed on Earth, "the Air Force said in an information sheet. "The technologies tested in the program include advanced guidance, navigation and control, thermal protection systems, avionics, high-temperature structures and seals, multiple-use conformal insulation, lightweight electromechanical flying systems, advanced propulsion systems, advanced materials and autonomous orbital flight systems. , entrance and landing. ScienceAlert notes that the Air Force has at least two X-37B aircraft made by Boeing. (Read more X-37B stories.)

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