Status Report

NASA X-43A Mach 10 Mission Scrubbed

By SpaceRef Editor
November 15, 2004
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NASA X-43A Mach 10 Mission Scrubbed

NASA’s third X-43A hypersonic research mission has been scrubbed for today due to technical glitches with X-43A instrumentation. When the issues were addressed, not enough time remained in the launch window.

Another flight attempt will be made tomorrow. Tomorrow’s launch window for the X-43A/Pegasus combination will be from 2-4 p.m., PST.

The high-risk, unpiloted 12-foot-long scramjet-powered vehicle is to be dropped from the wing of the B-52B over the Pacific Ocean at an altitude of 40,000 feet, then boosted to the test altitude of nearly 110,000 feet by its modified Pegasus booster rocket. Following separation from the booster, the X-43A will fly briefly under its own power at nearly 10 times the speed of sound, or 7,000 mph.

The flight is part of the Hyper-X program, a research effort designed to demonstrate air-breathing propulsion technologies for access to space and high-speed flight within the atmosphere. It will provide unique in-flight data on hypersonic air-breathing engine technologies that have large potential pay-offs.

Flight schedule information will be updated periodically as new information becomes available.

SpaceRef staff editor.