Mysterious X-37B 'space plane' is returning to orbit, and for once we're being told why

May 8, 2020
The US military's X-37B space plane is heading back into space in mid-May, Christopher Woody reports for Business Insider.

WASHINGTON - The US military's X-37B space plane is heading back into space in mid-May, and while the Air Force doesn't often say much about the mysterious aircraft, the service's top civilian outlined what it will be doing this time around, Christopher Woody reports for Business InsiderContinue reading original article.

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

May 8, 2020 -Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said on Wednesday that "The Air Force's Rapid Capability Office has combined forces with the Air Force Reserve Research Lab and now the US Space Force to execute a mission that maximizes the X-37B's unique capabilities. This important mission will host more experiments than any prior X-37B flight, including two NASA experiments."

She added, "One is a sample plate evaluating the reaction of select significant materials to the conditions in space. The second studies the effect of ambient space radiation on seeds. A third experiment, designed by the Naval Research Laboratory, transforms solar power into radio frequency microwave energy, then studies transmitting that energy to Earth."

Related: X-37B breaks record, lands after 780 days in orbit

Related: A secretive space drone just broke its own orbit record, and almost no one knows what it’s doing

Related: Air Force X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle employs UTC Aerospace Systems flight actuation system, part of command and data-handling subsystem

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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