US Army drone returns after 908 days in space

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ScienceA US military drone has landed back on Earth after 908 days in space

How certain materials react in space, how radiation in space affects seeds – these are the questions that an unmanned drone is supposed to answer.

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The X-37B was first introduced in 2010. (archive image)

imago/ZUMA Press

The unmanned drone is solar powered.  (archive image)

The unmanned drone is solar powered. (archive image)

imago/UPI photo

It was developed secretly for the US military.  (archive image)

It was developed secretly for the US military. (archive image)

imago images/UPI Photo

A US military space drone has returned to Earth after nearly two and a half years in space. Boeing announced that the X-37B unmanned spacecraft landed at the Kennedy Space Center on Saturday. First launched in 2010, the drone has now spent more than a decade in space, traveling more than 1.3 billion miles (2.09 billion kilometers) in six missions.

It has a length of nine meters and a wingspan of 4.50 meters and is powered by solar cells. The spacecraft was secretly from the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture American company Boeing and Lockheed Martin, developed for the US military.

Before the last launch in May 2020, the Pentagon said the mission was for a series of scientific experiments. Among other things, how certain materials react in space and how radiation in space affects different seeds should be investigated.

(AFP/roy)

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