The U.S. Air Force‘s unmanned reusable space plane has arrived from an on-orbit mission at the shuttle landing facility of NASA‘s Kennedy Space Center.
The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 4 performed on-orbit experiments during its 718-day mission, which brings the total number of days spent in space for the OTV program to 2,085 days, the Air Force said Sunday.
Lt. Col. Ron Fehlen, X-37B program manager, said the latest mission set an on-orbit endurance record for the program and marks OTV’s first landing in Florida.
X-37B is an experimental test program managed by the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office that works to demonstrate technologies for reusable space vehicle platforms.
The Air Force launched the first three X-37B missions, dubbed OTV-1 through OTV-3, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and all three landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The service branch plans to launch the fifth X-37B mission from Cape Canaveral AFS later this year.