At 6:43 am US eastern time today, the Air Force’s mysterious X-37B space plane broke a new spaceflight record, surpassing the 717 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes its predecessor spent in orbit just a couple years prior.
The X-37B, explained: The Air Force is notoriously tightlipped about the X-37B program. The space plane itself, built by Boeing, is 29 feet long and 9.6 feet tall, boasting a wingspan of nearly 15 feet. It’s launched vertically aboard a rocket and lands horizontally on a runway. The current X-37B mission is the fifth of its kind (Orbital Test Vehicle 5 – OTV-5) and was launched in September 2017 by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.