A U.S. military space shuttle X-37B closes the campaign timeline.
The X-37B launched to Earth orbit on May 17, 2020, on the sixth mission for the program, a flight known as Orbital Test Vehicle-6 (OTV-6).
The Space Force Mini-shuttle has now been aloft for 773 days. That’s just a week shy of the X-37B record of 780 days, which was set on OTV-5.
(That record does not come close to the orbital settlement; for example, the Landsat-5 satellite saw Earth from orbit for 29 years.)
While the Boeing-built airline agenda was split, some of its evaluations were revealed before launch.
One such study, from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), investigates the conversion of solar energy into microwave radiation. The test is called the Photovoltaic Radio-frequency Antenna Module, or PRAM for short.
We also know that OTV-6 included the deployment of FalconSat-8, a small U.S.-built satellite. Air Force Academy and sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory for several orbit tests.
In addition, two NASA experiments were mounted on a spacecraft to study the natural atmospheric effects on a sample plate of raw materials and seeds used for growing food.
OTV-6 is the first X-37B machine to use a service module to handle tests. The service module is attached to the car’s aft, allowing additional checking capacity to be carried around.