All About Space

Top-secret space shuttle

- ©NASA

X-37Bs are moved to the Kennedy Space Center

The aircraft move to hangars previously occupied by the Space Shuttles.

A fourth mission launches

The US Air Force launches a fourth mission, again from Cape Canaveral, which it says is to test the Hall-effect thruster and do scientific experiment­s.

Fifth flight of the X-37B

Launched using a SpaceX Falcon 9 instead of NASA’s Atlas V as in all previous missions, the fifth mission lasts for 779 days, 17 hours and 51 minutes – the longest yet.

Space Force is formed

A new branch of the US military is formed. While the craft remain Air Force assets, Space Force is now responsibl­e for launch, operations and landing.

A sixth mission launches

The sixth mission launches from Cape Canaveral carrying the most experiment­s of any X-37B mission to date, including two by NASA.

FalconSAT-8 released

The craft releases its satellite payload, FalconSAT-8, which carries five experiment­s. It will test an electromag­netic propulsion system, low-weight antenna technology and a commercial reaction wheel.

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