December 5, 2022

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The US spacecraft X-37B is close to the record.  More than 780 days in orbit?

The US spacecraft X-37B is close to the record. More than 780 days in orbit?

Somewhere over our heads, hundreds of days ago, the “mysterious” X-37B was circulating, which may be shrouded in a blanket of ignorance, but is well known to anyone interested in orbital flights at least a little. Currently, this US spacecraft X-37B is on its sixth mission (OTV-6), in which it is likely to break the record from the previous mission that completed in 2019.

X-37B spacecraft likely to break another orbital record during the OTV-6 mission

This robotic and unmanned spacecraft is only 2.1 meters long, 2.9 meters wide, with a wingspan, and weighs 4,990 kilograms. I take energy from solar cells, and their release into orbit occurs automatically, which also applies to the landing itself. Over our heads, it always spends a lot of time flying in low Earth orbit, but instead of missions that take a maximum of 270 days (these estimates were made prior to 2010), each subsequent mission raised the bar even higher.

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This time it will likely be no different, because as part of the OTV-5 mission, the aircraft spent 780 days in orbit, and as part of the OTV-6 mission, it already has 773 days on its neck and there are no indications that it will land soon. At this point, nothing is known about how long X-37B will remain in orbit, because both the program and the plane itself are shrouded in some kind of mystery.

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However, we know that Sixth mission OTV-6 It was intended to test, among other things, the laser power system, conduct experiments for the Air Force Research Laboratory, and launch a few small satellites into orbit. At that time, one of the Russians stated that the X-37B was not only a search and spy plane, but also … secret bomber.

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Boeing is responsible for creating and designing the X-37B. According to her, this space plane has many innovative solutions in the space industry. This applies to both avionics and all kinds of systems that allow them to rise into orbit, hold on, and finally return to Earth. It is made of a lightweight composite material instead of aluminum and uses a new generation of one-piece hardened silica ceramic plate.