Boeing X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), a secret unmanned US space plane, lands in Florida after circling the Earth for nearly 3 years.
The record-breaking sixth mission of the U.S. military’s Boeing X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) lasted for a record 908 days.
The new endurance record surpassed the previous record of 780 days on-orbit that it set during its fifth mission.
Its first mission lasted about 224 days while its second mission from March 2011 to June 2012 went on for 468 days.
The spacecraft has now flown over 1.3 billion miles and spent a total of 3,774 days in space, where it conducts experiments.
Boeing X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), a secret unmanned US space plane, landed at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 12th, 2022 after circling the Earth for a record 908 days.
X-37B, powered by solar cells with lithium-ion batteries, set a new endurance record during its latest and sixth mission, surpassing the previous record of 780 days on-orbit set during its fifth mission.
The reusable space plane has now flown over 1.3 billion miles and spent a total of 3,774 days in space, where it conducts experiments for US Government and industry partners.
“Since the X-37B’s first launch in 2010, it has shattered records and provided our nation with an unrivaled capability to rapidly test and integrate new space technologies,” said Jim Chilton, a senior vice president for Boeing Space and Launch.
“With the service module added, this was the most we’ve ever carried to orbit on the X-37B and we’re proud to have been able to prove out this new and flexible capability for the government and its industry partners.”
For its sixth mission, the X-37B was launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in May 2020. During the nearly three-year mission, X-37B hosted a service module that carried experiments for the Naval Research Laboratory and the US Air Force Academy.
The X-37B received the Robert J. Collier Trophy in 2020 for advancing the performance, efficiency and safety of air and space vehicles. Its first mission from April 22, 2010 to Dec. 3, 2010 lasted about 224 days while its second mission from March 5, 2011 to June 16, 2012 went on for 468 days.