900 days in space. Secret US space plane completes its record-breaking mystery mission

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900 days in space. US secret space plane completes its record-breaking mystery mission

The space plane has spent 4 months longer in orbit than on all of its previous flights.

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Secret US space plane X-37B has completed its record-breaking mystery mission. He spent 908 days in space and landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 12. This was already the sixth flight for this unmanned aerial vehicle, which is actively used by the US military for their own purposes, writes Space.

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This mission, like all previous X-37B spaceplane missions, is a mystery to the public. The US Space Force never reports the aircraft's flight path or when its mission will end. Also, his secret experiments in space often remain a mystery.

The X-37B space plane, which was created by Boeing, spent a record 908 days in space. This is 4 months longer than his previous five flights.

Despite the secrecy of the mission, it is known that in addition to various secret cargoes, there was a special device from the US Space Forces on board the aircraft. This pizza box-sized device is designed to convert solar energy into microwaves, which can then be transmitted to Earth. According to the participants of the experiment, the operation of this device can help bring the use of space solar energy closer to reality.

900 days in space. US secret space plane completes its record-breaking mystery mission

900 days in space. US secret space plane completes record-breaking mysterious mission< /p>

According to a statement from Boeing, the space planes were used for experiments for NASA. In particular, this concerns the study of cosmic radiation on plant seeds, as well as the reaction of various substances to the space environment.

Experts believe that the US Space Force has two X-37B space planes in its arsenal. And to date, this duet has already completed 6 space missions, each of which has the name OTV and a serial number. That is, the last secret mission that ended was called OTV-6.

The X-37B space plane resembles in appearance the famous NASA space shuttles, which have ceased to fly into orbit since 2011. But this plane is much smaller. If the length of the shuttle, which was also manned, was 37 m, then the length of the X-37B was only 8.8 m.

900 days in space. US secret space plane completed its record mystery mission

900 days in space. Secret US space plane completes its record-breaking mystery mission

List of X-37B Secret Space Plane missions:

  • The first flight lasted from April 22, 2010 to December 3 of the same year. The duration of the mission is 224 days.
  • The second flight lasted from March 5, 2011 to June 16, 2012. The duration of the mission is 468 days.
  • The third flight lasted from December 11, 2012 to October 17, 2014 and its duration was 674 days.
  • The fourth flight began on May 20, 2015 and ended on May 7, 2015. Its duration is 718 days.
  • The fifth flight was even longer and lasted 780 days from September 7, 2017 to October 27, 2019.
  • And the last flight for today lasted from May 17, 2020 of the year to November 12, 2022, and this is so far the record for the duration of stay in space for this aircraft – 908 days.

As mentioned above, all flights of a secret aircraft are shrouded in mystery, but The US Space Force describes this aircraft as a testing ground for various technologies. What exactly remains a mystery.

As Focus wrote, a Chinese competitor of the X-37B aircraft, whose name is unknown, has been in space for more than 3 months. The US military has learned that this secret PRC aircraft delivered an equally secret cargo into space.