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A Closer Look at the X-43 Mission
03.24.04
 
Cutaway view of the difference between the scramjet engine and conventional jet engine.


Image above: Scramjet burns fuel in a stream of supersonic air compressed by the forward speed of the aircraft. Conventional jet engines draw in air and burn it with fuel so it expands in a combustion chamber. The hot air is then forced out the exhaust nozzle to produce thrust. Click for larger image. Credit: NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center

X-43A mission profile


Image above: The X-43A and its booster will separate from the B-52 at 40,000 feet. It will ascend to 95,000 feet and release from the booster. The scramjet engine will then ignite and, following a free flight, it will land in the ocean. Click for larger image. Credit: NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center

For even more images, visit the X-43 graphics collection.

 
 
NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center