On May 20th 2015, a special unmanned space plane of the United States Air Force, Boeing X-37B, was deployed to space by the American government.
The Mirror reports that the reusable unmanned spacecraft blasted into orbit from Cape Canaveral in the state of Florida, carrying a brand new type of ion engine called a “Hall thruster,” and a NASA experiment designed to test how 100 types of materials respond to the harsh conditions of space. At a first glance, the vehicle looks just like a mini Space Shuttle, yet it isn’t. X-37B is too small to carry people on-board, but does have a cargo bay similar to that of a pickup truck, which is just large enough to carry a small satellite.
At the time the plane took off, some scientists expressed grave concern. A senior scientist at the Global Security Program, and also a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Laura Grego reportedly told Space.com that there was “no compelling reason” why experiments should be carried aboard a top-secret craft.
Currently, it is believed the unmanned plane has spent the past year orbiting around Earth. The American government has, however, failed to give any tangible reason behind the deployment of X-37B to space, except saying it is for an experiment. As to the actual nature of the experiment, that still remains a mystery…