CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — An unmanned U.S. army area aircraft landed early Saturday after spending a report 908 days in orbit for its sixth mission and conducting science experiments.
The solar-powered automobile, which seems like a miniature area shuttle, landed at NASA’s Kennedy House Middle. Its earlier mission lasted 780 days.
“Because the X-37B’s first launch in 2010, it has shattered information and supplied our nation with an unequalled functionality to quickly check and combine new area applied sciences,” mentioned Jim Chilton, a senior vp for Boeing, its developer.
For the primary time, the area aircraft hosted a service module that carried experiments for the Naval Analysis Laboratory, U.S. Air Pressure Academy and others. The module separated from the automobile earlier than de-orbiting to make sure a protected touchdown.
Among the many experiments was a satellite tv for pc dubbed the FalconSat-8 that was designed and constructed by academy cadets in partnership with the Air Pressure Analysis Laboratory. It was deployed in October 2021 and nonetheless stays in orbit.
One other experiment evaluated the results of long-duration area publicity on seeds.
“This mission highlights the House Pressure’s give attention to collaboration in area exploration and increasing low-cost entry to area for our companions, inside and out of doors of the Division of the Air Pressure,” mentioned Gen. Probability Saltzman, Chief of House Operations.
The X-37Be has now flown over 1.3 billion miles and spent a complete of three,774 days in area.