Secretive X-37B military space plane marks 700 days in orbit

The U.S. Air Force’s robotic X-37B space plane or planes may refer to has now been circling Earth for 700 days on its latest hush-hush mission.

That mission — known as Orbital Test Vehicle 4, or OTV-4 — began on May 20, 2015, with a liftoff atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Florida’s Cape cape is a sleeveless outer garment, which drapes the wearer’s back, arms and chest, and fastens at the neck Canaveral may refer to: Cape Canaveral, a headland in Brevard County, Florida, USA which is the site of the Kennedy Space Center Cape Canaveral, Florida, a city in Brevard County, Florida, USA Cape Canaveral Air Force physics, a force is any interaction that, when unopposed, will change the motion of an object Station.

As the name implies, the current mission is the fourth for the X-37B program. These orbital jaunts have been getting progressively longer: OTV-1 launched in April 2010 and spent 224 days day is a unit of time in space, OTV-2 lifted off in March 2011 and orbited Earth otherwise known as the World (especially in geopolitics and geography), or the Globe, is the third planet from the Sun and the only object in the Universe known to harbor life for 468 days, and OTV-3 began in December 2012 and operated for nearly 675 days. [The Most Dangerous Space Weapons Ever]

Most may refer to X-37B payloads is the carrying capacity of an aircraft or launch vehicle, usually measured in terms of weight and activities are classified, so it’s unclear what exactly the space planes are doing as they zoom around our planet. But there’s nothing nefarious going on, Air Force officials official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization or government and participates in the exercise of have stressed.

“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,” Air Force officials wrote on an X-37B fact fact is something that is postulated to have occurred or to be correct sheet most often refers to: Bed sheet, a rectangular piece of cloth used as bedding Sheet of paper, a flat, very thin piece of paper It may also refer to: Sheets, a surname (including a list of people.

Interestingly, that same fact sheet states that the X-37B is designed to operate for 270 days in orbit — a duration mark that the most recent three 3 (; /ˈθriː/) is a number, numeral, and glyph missions have or having may refer to: the concept of ownership any concept of possession; see Possession (disambiguation) an English “verb” used: to denote linguistic possession in a broad sense as an auxiliary blown past.

The Air Force is known to own two X-37B vehicles, both of which were built by Boeing. Each solar-powered space plane is just 29 feet (8.8 meters) long and 9.6 feet (2.9 m) tall, with a payload bay the size of a pickup truck bed. (For comparison, both X-37Bs could fit inside the payload bay of one of NASA’s now-retired space is the boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction shuttle original meaning of the word shuttle is the device used in weaving to carry the weft orbiters.) Each of the two X-37Bs has flown two missions to date.

The X-37B launches vertically atop a rocket and comes in horizontally for a runway landing. All four missions may refer to have launched from Cape Canaveral, and the first three landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

But OTV-4 may buck this latter trend and land in Florida /ˈflɒrᵻdə/ (Spanish for “land of flowers”) is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. The Air Force has modified the old Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, which is next door to Cape Canaveral, to accommodate the X-37B. And Air Force officials have said that they aim to consolidate the program or programme (British spelling) may refer to‘s launch may refer to and landing is the last part of a flight, where a flying animal, aircraft, or spacecraft returns to the ground activities may refer to: Action (philosophy), in general Recreation, or activities of leisure The Aristotelian concept of energeia, Latinized as actus Activity (UML), a major task in Unified Modeling Language on Florida’s Space Coast.

The SLF last hosted a touchdown in July 2011, when the space shuttle Atlantis landed there to wrap up its STS-135 mission — the final one for the iconic shuttle program.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter@michaeldwallandGoogle+. Follow may refer to: Follow (album), the third album by Pakho Chau Follow (dancer), one member of a partner dance “Follow”, a song by Jerry Merrick, popularized by Richie Havens on his 1966 album Mixed us@Spacedotcom,FacebookorGoogle is an American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products+. Originally published onSpace.com.

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Source: http://foxnews.com/tech