American military drone spent almost three years in space

The X-37B unmanned space plane landed in Florida on November 12. It spent the last 908 days in space, carrying out a research program in the interests of the US military and NASA. 

Space plane X-37B. Source:

The secret space plane has returned from outer space

On Saturday, November 12, at 12:22 p.m. GMT+2, the X-37B landed on the landing strip of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is an unmanned space plane that Boeing Corporation built by order of the US Department of Defense. 

The X-37B has been flying into space for many years, conducting long-term experiments there, the essence of which is most often not disclosed. For example, the last flight lasted as much as 708 days. The current flight is the sixth and its duration is a record.

Flight program

The X-37B launched into space on May 17, 2020. That is, it was in space for 908 days, which is a record for it. During this time, several experiments were carried out on board by order of the US Space Forces and NASA.

In particular, by order of the US Navy Research Laboratory, an experiment was conducted to capture sunlight and turn it into electricity. Also on board were studies of how the space environment affects certain types of materials.

Another experiment conducted this time was to establish how a long stay in space affects plant seeds. Also, the FalconSat-8 satellite, developed at the US Air Force Academy, was launched into orbit from the X-37B.

What is the X-37B?

The X-37B is a small unmanned space plane, that is, a multiple vehicle capable of leaving orbit and landing at airfields in automatic mode. It began to be developed back in the 1990s. Then NASA was the main customer and the device had to be launched from the shuttle.

However, later the project was revised, the space plane was now supposed to launch from earth on a launch vehicle. And the project itself was handed over to the military, who have been taking care of it ever since. At first, it was planned that the drones would be in space for no more than 270 days, but later it became clear that they are capable of much more.

For ten years, the US military hid the very fact of the existence of the X-37B. But over time, it was declassified, and now they are even trying to turn it into a symbol of their publicity and readiness for cooperation.

According to

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