Orbital spy plane is back from space
17 October, 2014
The Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California,after a record-setting 674 days in orbit. putting an end to the program’s third flight. There are no details on what the plane may have been doing during its time in space. it’s probably no coincidence that the X-37B’s orbit takes it over North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China.
The Boeing X-37, also known as the X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), is an American reusable unmanned spacecraft. It is boosted into space by a rocket, then re-enters Earth’s atmosphere and lands as a spaceplane. The X-37 is operated by the United States Air Force for orbital spaceflight missions intended to demonstrate reusable space technologies. X-37B carries “specialized” sensors packages that can be reconfigured as needed for each mission when the aircraft returns to Earth. That ability to reconfigure the robotic spacecraft makes the X-37B cheaper and more flexible than a satellite—which goes up once with one package of sensors and is eventually discarded. Satellites can often cost billions of dollars and cannot reconfigured or reused, unlike the X-37B.