Space Force launches robotic X-37B space plane on new mystery mission

The U.S. Space Force’s mysterious X-37B space plane successfully launched on its sixth mystery mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 9.14 a.m. EDT (1314 GMT) on May 17, riding atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

While the X-37B’s exact purpose is a secret, Space Force officials have revealed that the craft is packing numerous experiments on this trip to test out different systems in space. Some of those experiments include a small satellite called FalconSat-8, two NASA payloads designed to study the effects of radiation on different materials as well as seeds to grow food, and a power-beaming experiment using microwave energy.