What Was the US Military’s Top-Secret Spaceplane Doing on Its 900 Day Mission?
A secret spaceplane operated by the United States Space Force (USSF) recently landed on Earth after orbiting the Earth for more than 900 days.
A secret spaceplane operated by the United States Space Force (USSF) has landed on Earth after spending a record 908 days in orbit. But what it does above our heads remains a mystery.
The uncrewed X-37B spacecraft landed on NASA’s Kennedy Space Station on November 12. While there is very limited information on the activities carried out during the record-breaking flight, authorities claim they conducted a series of scientific experiments about 249 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth.
Most of the Experiments Done Were not Disclosed
The X-37B was originally designed by Boeing for NASA before it was used by the US military. It offers a hybrid structure based on an airplane-spacecraft, which in many ways resembles a miniature space shuttle. The spacecraft in the mission, dubbed Orbital Test Vehicle-6 (OTV-6), was launched on an Atlas V rocket in May 2020. During this time, some known experiments were carried out on the orbiter.
One of the experiments described is a test by the US Naval Research Laboratory that successfully collects light from the sun before sending it back to Earth as microwaves, and another is the deployment of an electromagnetically guided training satellite. NASA also conducted an experiment called Materials Exposure and Technology Innovation in Space (METIS-2), which explores the effects of space on different materials. Apart from these, no details were disclosed about the other experiments performed on the ship.