Pentagon announces new X-37B secret space drone mission

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — On Wednesday, the US Air Force said it would send its high-tech X-37B unmanned aerial vehicle, the sixth reusable spacecraft that maneuvers around the Earth during secret missions this month.

The Air Force said the X-37B orbital test drone, which looks like a small version of a manned spacecraft that retired in 2011, will be launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on May 16.

Once in orbit, he will deploy a small research satellite FalconSat-8, and will also for the first time have a service module that will expand its capabilities for experiments.

Spacecraft experiments include testing by NASA of the effects of radiation on seeds and other materials.

Another test for U.S. Navy researchers is converting solar energy into radio frequency microwave energy, which can then be transferred to the earth.

The “space plane,” as it is called, spent a total of 2865 days in space, including 780 days in orbit with its last mission, which ended in October 2019.

“There will be more experimentation in this X-37B mission than in any other previous missions. This launch will also demonstrate the department’s collaboration, which expands the boundaries for reusable space systems, ”said Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett.

The X-37B is about 5 tons in weight and nearly 9 meters long. The last OTV 5 mission was launched on September 7, 2017 on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA Kennedy Space Center. He landed on October 27, 2019.

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