Credit: Boeing/Watch U.S. Fly

Where were you two years ago?

“We know where the Boeing-made X-37B was — making its way into space,” explains a posting on Watch U.S. Fly – “a community of Americans dedicated to keeping America the world’s best manufacturer of aircraft, spacecraft and defense products” and posts info on space-based national defense.

“Why does that matter today? Because after 780 days in space, the spacecraft set the record for the longest flight mission in Earth’s orbit. The U.S. Military has launched the X-37B five different times, with each mission longer than the last.

These missions are tagged Orbital Test Vehicles, or OTV’s, the last flight was OTV-5.

Post-landing of OTV-5 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility.
Courtesy Photo 45th Space Wing Public Affairs

Latest innovative technologies

The X-37B is unique. In fact, it’s spent more than 7.5 years total in orbit across all of its missions, explains the posting. “This amazing spaceplane launches into space on a rocket, then separates from it to carry out its mission, then re-enters the atmosphere and lands on a runway just like an airplane.”

The X-37B is a spacecraft built with the latest innovative technologies to ensure our national security, explains the posting, and is designed to carry out important experiments that can be examined once they get back to Earth.

“As we continue to utilize the American-made X-37B in our solar system, we are relieved to know the Air Force is breaking records to protect the United States,” the Watch U.S. Fly communiqué concludes.

Credit: Boeing

Next flight

Reportedly, the next X-37B to fly is slated for the 2nd Quarter 2020. OTV-6 will be hurled into Earth orbit for the U.S. Air Force by a ULA Atlas V booster designated as AFSPC 7/OTV-6.

The mission was delayed from December and will fly on a single-engine Centaur upper stage from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – SLC-41. The launch window is yet to be announced.

For more information on the X-37B’s last flight, go to:

https://www.leonarddavid.com/air-force-space-plane-milestone-setting-flight/

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