Press Release

X-40A flight test successful; major milestone in X-37 space plane project

By SpaceRef Editor
March 14, 2001
Filed under ,

The X-40A was lifted by an Army Chinook helicopter today at 8:29
a.m. PST and completed the free flight at 9:38 a.m. PST reaching an altitude
of 15,000 feet above ground level at Edwards Air Force Base.

Flight objectives include validation of Computed Air Data Systems,
CADS, which will be used in the flight control system of the X-37
experimental reusable launch vehicle. Other test points are: in-flight
performance evaluation of Honeywell SIGI Space Integrated Global Positioning
System Inertial Navigation System, test of control room operations, and
flight test of guidance, navigation and control software.

The Boeing built X-40A is on loan from the Air Force, which
successfully released it from a helicopter once in 1998. NASA is using the
X-40A to test the shape, guidance, and other systems for the X-37, which
eventually will be launched into space and return autonomously to test
technologies for reusable launch vehicles.

Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., NASA’s lead center
for space transportation systems development, manages the X-37. Dryden
Flight Research Center is responsible for the X-37/X-40A flight test

SpaceRef staff editor.