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November 27, 2004
NASA - Dryden Flight Research Center - News Room: News Releases: Dress Rehearsal Flight of X-43A Successful; Hyper-X Free Flight Soon

Dress Rehearsal Flight of X-43A Successful; Hyper-X Free Flight Soon

January 27, 2004

Release: 04-03

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The NASA X-43A hypersonic research vehicle and its Pegasus booster rocket, mounted beneath the wing of their B-52 mother ship, had a successful captive-carry flight Jan. 26, 2004. A dress rehearsal for the subsequent free flight, the captive-carry flight kept the X-43A-and-Pegasus combination attached to the B-52's wing pylon throughout the two-hour mission. The flight originated from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., flying over the Pacific Missile Test Range, and back to Dryden.
After taking off from Dryden at 3:21 p.m. PST, the B-52 crossed the California coast on a predetermined flight path, and returned to Dryden for a 5:28 p.m. PST landing.

"Flight went very smoothly. Our only concern was potential turbulence at high altitudes but as it turned out we didn't have any," said Paul Reukauf, Dryden's X-43A deputy project manager. "We met all our objectives for the flight now."

Reukauf said the team is now readying for a launch of the X-43A, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 21. This high-risk exploration of supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) technology, intended to take place at seven times the speed of sound, will be conducted in restricted Navy airspace over the ocean.


Note to Editors: Photos are available for download at /centers/dfrc/Gallery/Photo/X-43A/index.html
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