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Boeing-Built X-37B Space Plane Breaks Program Mark of 717 Days


A Boeing-built (NYSE: BA) space plane has recorded nearly 719 days in orbit since the U.S. Air Force launched the unmanned spacecraft in September 2017 aboard a SpaceX-made Falcon 9 rocket from Space Coast in Florida, the Space website reported Monday.

The X-37B space plane for the Orbital Test Vehicle 5 mission broke the spaceflight duration record of the OTV-4 mission, which logged a total of 717 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes in orbit. Air Force officials wrote in a fact sheet that X-37B seeks to support the service branch’s experiments and initiatives to demonstrate reusable spacecraft technologies.

The officials added that some of the technologies being assessed in the program are guidance, navigation and control, avionics, advanced propulsion systems, autonomous orbital flight, re-entry and landing and thermal protection systems.

The 29-foot-long space plane is a solar-powered vehicle with a wingspan of approximately 15 feet and a launch weight of 11,000 pounds.

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