NASA mystery resolved: US Space Force finally confirm secret groundbreaking military test

The X-37B has prompted wild speculation for a decade, following its shadowy missions into space where the spacecraft orbits the Earth for years. The mysterious space plane's mission to date has remained classified, with the US Space Force even refusing to discuss the craft. However ahead of its next launch, on May 16th, the US Air & Space Force has finally disclosed parts of the plane's covert mission.

According to the US military, the secretive X-37B will carry out research on space radiation and microwave energy.

It will also carry out tests that experts believe could eventually allow drones to stay aloft indefinitely anywhere in the world.

This marks the first time a US officials has revealed mission details of the X-37B ahead of an orbital flight.

The officials explained that the X-37B will carry payloads to convert the sun's energy into radio frequency microwave energy so it can be sent back to Earth.

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This energy will then be transmitted to provide reliable power anywhere on Earth or even to spacecraft or other satellites in orbit.

It will also evaluate the how low orbit impacts samples and seeds. 

As part of its sixth launch, the X-37B will take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on top of a liquid-fueled Atlas V rocket.

Each time the unmanned space plane has launched it has carried a mystery payload on long-duration flights into Earth orbit,  performing a range of classified missions for NASA since 2010. 

He added: "One is a sample plate evaluating the reaction of select significant materials to the conditions in space. The second studies the effect of ambient space radiation on seeds.

"A third experiment, designed by the Naval Research Laboratory, transforms solar power into radio frequency microwave energy, then studies transmitting that energy to Earth."

Dr. Paul Jaffe, from the US Naval Research Laboratory, says that the last experiment will open up entirely new frontiers in terms of long-endurance unmanned aircraft. 

He said: "If you have an electric drone that can fly more than an hour, you're doing pretty well.

"If we had a way to keep those drones and UAVs flying indefinitely, that would have really far-reaching implications. With power beaming, we have a path toward being able to do that."

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