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The Air Force's mysterious X-37B spacecraft lands in orbit after 780 days



An earlier headline had the wrong number of days in orbit. It has been corrected.



US. Air Force

The US Air Force X-37B orbital test vehicle landed on Sunday morning in Florida.

Another flight, another long-term record than two years in orbit. The 780-day mission surpassed the previous space record of 71

8 days in orbit.

"The X-37B continues to show the importance of a reusable spacecraft," said Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett in a statement. "Each successive mission improves the space capabilities of our nation."

It was the fifth mission for the reusable and unmanned "spacecraft" that resembles a mini-space shuttle. Little is known about his recent mission. Launched in September 2017 with a Space X Falcon 9 rocket, the Luftwaffe said it had carried small satellites and would test experimental technologies in weightlessness.

"This program continues Push the Envelope is the world's only reusable spacecraft. With a successful landing today, the X-37B has completed its longest flight to date and successfully met all of its mission objectives, "said Randy Walden, director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, in a statement on Sunday. "In this mission, experiments at the Air Force Research Laboratory were successful and small satellites transported."

The spacecraft landed at 3:51 am on Sunday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and woke some residents with a sonic boom. Throughout its lifetime, the vehicle has spent 2,865 days in orbit.

A sixth mission is planned for 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.


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