The United States Air Force’s secret space place X-37B set a new record of orbiting the Planet for 718 days breaking its previous record of spending 717 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes in space.
The USAF’s X-37B has been orbiting the planet Earth since September 7th, 2017 and since OTV’s classified mission brief details about it are not available the much we know are mentioned here.
United States Air Force has been putting space planes in the orbit from 2010. The first “Orbital Test Vehicle” (OTV) mission which was under service for 224 days and the successive mission hardly lasted for 200 days. The current OTV-5 mission is still able to run for several months.
As reported by The Daily Beast OTV’s like X-37B is “designed to carry experimental payloads of sensors such as high-tech cameras of various types, electronic sensors, and ground-mapping radars.“. It is able to land easily which means that it can hypothetically carry a spy satellite to the orbit for the testing period and bring it back safely to Earth for any improvements or adjustments.
According to the public mission fact sheet “The primary objectives of the X-37B are twofold; reusable spacecraft technologies for America’s future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth.”