Super-secret drone doin’ military stuff, I guess!
source: NBC Mach/ Space.com
The U.S. Air Force’s X-37B space plane just broke its spaceflight-duration record.
At 6:43 a.m. EDT (1043 GMT) today (Aug. 26), the robotic X-37B sailed past the program mark of 717 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes, which was set by the previous mission, known as Orbital Test Vehicle 4 (OTV-4).
The current mission, OTV-5, began on Sept. 7, 2017, with a liftoff atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It’s unclear what the space plane is doing up there now, or what it has done on past flights; X-37B missions are classified, and the Air Force therefore tends to speak of the vehicle and its activities in general terms.
“The primary objectives of the X-37B are twofold; reusable spacecraft technologies for America’s future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth.”X-37B fact sheet