The Air Force’s X37-B plane landed after a record-breaking 780 days in space. But what was the secret plane doing?
» Subscribe to Seeker!http://bit.ly/subscribeseeker
» Watch more Elements! http://bit.ly/ElementsPlaylist
The U.S. Air Force’s X-37B reusable space plane just set a new record for itself, spending 780 days in orbit on its fifth and longest mission.
But while the orbiter’s existence and the durations of its missions are known, there’s not a lot of other information available to the public about what exactly the space plane’s doing while it’s up there.
The X-37B craft is an uncrewed robotic orbiter that resembles a miniaturized space shuttle. Just under 9 meters long and nearly 3 meters tall, with a wingspan of 4.6 meters, the space plane is roughly the size of a school bus, with a cargo bay about a big as a pickup truck’s.
The project originally started in 1999 under the purview of NASA, but in 2004 it was taken over by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA. From then on, the X-37 was classified, though we do know the project is run by the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office.
It launches out of Cape Canaveral in Florida, with the latest mission riding SpaceX’s Falcon 9 into orbit for the first time, and the last two missions landed right next door to where they launched. It’s believed there are two X-37Bs, and they were built by Boeing’s Phantom Works Division.
Find out more about this mysterious spacecraft and its intended purpose on this episode of Elements.
#Space #Orbiter #AirForce #Exploration #Spacecraft #Seeker #Science #Elements
How Virgin Galactic Plans to Send You to Space | Countdown to Launch
A Secret Space Plane Just Landed After a Record Stay in Orbit
“The old space shuttle landing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center received an unusual visitor early Sunday morning when the Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane autonomously returned from orbit after a record-breaking mission.”
X-37B: The Air Force’s Mysterious Space Plane
“The X-37B has landed! The fifth classified Orbital Test Vehicle mission ended with a successful landing on Oct. 27, 2019.”
US Air Force’s X-37B Space Plane Lands After Record 780-Day Mystery Mission
“The U.S. Air Force’s unpiloted X-37B space plane landed back on Earth Sunday (Oct. 27) after a record 780 days in orbit , racking up the fifth ultra-long mission for the military’s mini-shuttle fleet.”
Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.
Seeker empowers the curious to understand the science shaping our world. We tell award-winning stories about the natural forces and groundbreaking innovations that impact our lives, our planet, and our universe.
Visit the Seeker website https://www.seeker.com/videos
Elements on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SeekerElements/
Seeker on Twitter http://twitter.com/seeker
Seeker on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SeekerMedia/