The United States’ unmanned Air Force X-37B airplane returned to the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, the 7 of May, however it woke up the majority of Floridans with the immense sound of a sonic boom it make upon doing so.
The X-37B just set the on-orbit endurance record after its 718 days in space, even making a bit more of history due to its Florida landing, rather than California.
This was NASA’s fourth Orbital Test Vehicle mission for the X-37B, and its 718 day run brings its total amount of days on mission in-orbit to an estimated 2,085 days.
“The landing of OTV-4 marks another success for the X-37B program and the nation,” said Ron Fehlan, an Air Force Lt. Col. and the X-37B program’s manager in a recent news release.
“This mission once again set an on-orbit endurance record and marks the vehicle’s first landing in the state of Florida.
“We are incredibly pleased with the performance of the space vehicle and are excited about the data gathered to support the scientific and space communities. We are extremely proud of the dedication and hard work by the entire team.”
Surprise To Residents
However it was not just its landing that got people talking- the sonic boom that the aircraft caused throughout regions of Florida shocked residents. People took to Twitter to ask if anyone heard the sound, and “thanking” Nasa for waking them up.
CNN also reported about speculation regarding the plane’s secretive mission, saying that the plane may have been undergoing spy activities or “testing of a secret space weapon.”
“The hard work of the X-37B OTV team and the 45th Space Wing successfully demonstrated the flexibility and resolve necessary to continue the nation’s advancement in space,” said the director of Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Randy Walden, in a release.
“The ability to land, refurbish, and launch from the same location further enhances the OTV’s ability to rapidly integrate and qualify new space technologies.”