Categories: US

Top secret Air Force X-37B lands after two years in space

An unmanned military space plane landed at Kennedy Space Center Sunday with a sonic boom, according to MailOnline.

The reusable X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle’s (OTV-4) return concluded an almost two-year mission in orbit, according to the US Air Force.

The Air Force tweeted shortly after 8am that the vehicle had landed safely, marking the conclusion of its fourth classified mission, which lasted more than 700 days.

OTV-4 launched from Cape Canaveral on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on May 20, 2015.

Air Force officials have called the X-37B program ‘the newest and most advanced re-entry spacecraft.’ The program is managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

The two mini-shuttles have each completed two missions since their first launch from the Cape in 2010. Three of the prior X-37B landings occurred at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

When the plane landed Sunday morning the sonic boom could be heard throughout Central Florida, and some Brevard County residents likely heard them before it even touched down at the Shuttle Landing Facility.

Air Force officials said that several technologies are being tested in the program.

‘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,’ an official said, according to Click Orlando.

Officials also explained that the X-37B is the first vehicle of its kind able to return experiments to Earth for further inspection and analysis. It is the first with this capability since NASA’s Shuttle Orbiter.

The X-37B is able to stay in space longer because of its minimum on-orbit time of 270 days, officials said.

Recent Posts

Lunar Leap: How Intuitive Machines Carved a Path for Commercial Space Exploration

The flight to the moon comes from a breakthrough in technology In a move that…

10 hours ago

Edward Snowden and Bitcoin: A Revolutionary Perspective on Digital Currency

The Unprecedented Advancement of Digital Currency Edward Snowden, the notorious whistleblower and staunch advocate for…

2 days ago

Beyoncé Breaks New Ground: First Black Woman to Claim No. 1 on Hot Country Songs Chart with ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’

In the ever-evolving tapestry of music, where genres blend like colors on a canvas, Beyoncé…

3 days ago

Trump’s record $355M penalty: Navigating the legal maze and its broader implications

The Verdict Heard Round the World In a seismic shift, Donald Trump, the erstwhile President…

4 days ago

Emma Stone’s BAFTA 2024 Triumph: A Milestone in “Poor Things” Journey

Another high point for Emma Stone The 2024 EE BAFTA Film Awards marked a significant…

4 days ago

United Front Against AI Disruption: Tech Giants Forge Accord to Safeguard Elections

In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) holds the power to both innovate and destabilize,…

5 days ago