US X-37B Spaceplane Spent Record 780 Days in Space, Put Satellites Into Orbit – Air Force
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The US Boeing X-37B unmanned reusable spaceplane landed on Sunday at the Kennedy Space Center after spending record 780 days in space, during which it put a number of small satellites into orbit, the US Air Force said.
"The Air Force's X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 5 successfully landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility Oct. 27, 2019 at 3:51 a.m. [23:51 on Saturday GMT]," the Air Force said.
Randy Walden, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office director, pointed out that the Boeing X-37B's flight was the longest in history and noted that the spaceplane placed into orbit several small satellites.
"This program continues to push the envelope as the world's only reusable space vehicle. With a successful landing today, the X-37B completed its longest flight to date and successfully completed all mission objectives … This mission successfully hosted Air Force Research Laboratory experiments, among others, as well as providing a ride for small satellites," Walden said.
The mission was launched on 7 September, 2017, from Cape Canaveral with the Space X Falcon 9 booster. That was the second landing of the X-37B: during the previous mission it spent 718 days in orbit. The start of the next mission is scheduled for 2020.
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