The Air Force’s experimental spaceplane landed safely at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., after completing a 780-day consecutive orbital flight. With the landing, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle broke its own flight record. In total, the X-37B has spent 2,865 days in flight.
The service intends to use the spacecraft and further iterations of its ilk as a reusable unmanned platform, from which teams of scientists and engineers would conduct experiments relating to long-endurance operations in space.
“This program continues to push the envelope as the world’s only reusable space vehicle,” said Randy Walden, director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.
“This space craft is a key component of the space community. This milestone demonstrated our commitment to conducting experiments necessary for America’s future space exploration,” Said Lt. Col. Jonathan Keen, the program manager for the X-37B.