Report: Boeing-Built X-37B Space Plane Logs 500+ Days in Orbit

X37BA Boeing-built orbital test vehicle has spent more than 500 days in Earth orbit since the U.S. Air Force launched the unmanned spacecraft from Cape Canaveral in Florida last year, Space.com reported Monday.

Leonard David writes the X-37B space plane launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on May 20, 2015 as part of the Orbital Test Vehicle-4 mission.

The X-37B carries payloads such as Aerojet Rocketdyne‘s XR-5A Hall Thruster that has completed initial on-orbit validation tests as well as NASA advanced materials and an Air Force experimental propulsion system.

Winston Beauchamp, deputy undersecretary for space at the Air Force, said at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference that the OTV continues to be utilized for testing purposes.

Boeing developed the X-37B to demonstrate technologies on a reusable, unmanned space test platform as well as conduct space and operating experiments that can be returned and examined on Earth.

The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office oversees OTV program for the Defense Department.

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