Status Report

X-38 free flight halted before release

By SpaceRef Editor
June 29, 2001
Filed under ,

NASA X-38 program engineers decided to postpone the seventh free
flight of an X-38 vehicle at about 10:29 this morning. The halt came
after the X-38, still secured to a wing pylon on NASA’s B-52B mother
ship, was already airborne.

The B-52/X-38 combination returned to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.,
where NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center is located.

The mission could be reflown as early as Monday, said John Muratore,
X-38 program manager.

The halt was called because of a radio ground equipment problem.
Time needed to rectify this could have exceeded the fuel requirements
for chase aircraft, so the X-38 flight was postponed.

The X-38 is exploring technologies to enable construction of a Crew
Return Vehicle (CRV) to be used as a “lifeboat” attached to the
International Space Station. The CRV would be capable of evacuating
a full seven-member space station crew and returning them to earth on
short notice.

SpaceRef staff editor.