As discreet as it is strategic, the X-37B is back in orbit

Last Saturday, the all-new US Space Force carried out its second space launch since its creation. But unlike the launch of March, the Atlas 5 rocket of the United Launch Alliance this time carried no communication satellite but one of the two mysterious space planes Boeing X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle.

This is the sixth flight of the X-37B since 2010. The previous mission, which ended in October 2019, had seen the Boeing space drone beat its own record of 780 days spent in orbit (see the file that we had devoted to the X-37B following this flight). If the X-37B is now a regular in low Earth orbit, the US Air Force (which owns the two space planes) and the US Space Force (which will now operate them in orbit) continue to maintain secrecy around of its capabilities and its missions.

USSF 7 X 37B Atlas 5 Defense News | Military Drones and Robotics | Spying
One of the two X-37Bs manufactured by Boeing under the fairing of an Atlas 5, a few days before takeoff last Saturday as part of the USSF-7 mission

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