Air Force successfully launched its high-tech drone X-37B, placing the reusable
vehicle into orbit for its sixth secretive mission in space.
version of the manned space shuttles retired by the US space programme in 2011,
was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the Air Force said. It will spend
months in orbit, remotely conducting a series of experiments.
the X-37B reusable spacecraft,” Defence Secretary Mark Esper tweeted
shortly after the launch.
Congratulations on the 6th mission of the X-37B reusable spacecraft @SpaceForceDoD @USAirForce @AF_Academy. pic.twitter.com/ENYg0FDIGR
— @EsperDoD (@EsperDoD) May 17, 2020
off with an earth-shaking roar at 9.14am (1314 GMT) to loft the drone, also
known as an Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), into space.
research satellite dubbed FalconSat-8, to carry out additional experiments,
Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett explained earlier this month,
elaborating on what up to now has been a highly secretive project.
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more experiments than any prior missions,” said Barrett, who also heads
the recently created US Space Force.
effect of radiation on seeds and other materials, and transforming solar power
into radio-frequency microwave energy that could be transmitted to the ground.
metres), with a wing span of 15 feet (4.5 metres).
the drone, but up to now had revealed few details about its missions and
first in 2010-the solar powered craft stayed in space for longer periods of
780 days in orbit. That brought the craft’s cumulative time in orbit to 2,865