Tue, Nov 16, 2004
Mission Aiming At Mach 10 Scrubbed
NASA's experimental scramjet, the X-43A, was supposed have made
an attempt at Mach 10 flight Monday. The X-43A research mission
intended to reach Mach 10 today was postponed, and may be
rescheduled for the same time Tuesday.
An instrumentation system problem with the X-43 caused a delay
until it was fixed. When the preflight checklist was resumed, not
enough time remained to meet an FAA launch deadline of 1600
The X-43A team is meeting to assess the ability to launch.
NASA says, if the mission can be flown on Tuesday, the launch
window would remain from 1400 to 1600 Pacific time, with takeoff of
the B-52B mothership that carries the X-43A /Pegasus booster to
launch altitude slated for 1300.
The mission is intended to flight-validate the operation of the
X-43A's supersonic-combustion ramjet - or scramjet - engine at a
record airspeed of almost 10 times the speed of sound, or about
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.
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