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NASA’s B-52B launch aircraft cruises to a test range over the Pacific Ocean carrying the third X-43A vehicle attached to a Pegasus rocket on November 16, 2004

The third X-43A hypersonic research aircraft, attached to a modified Pegasus booster rocket, was taken to launch altitude by NASA's B-52B launch aircraft from the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on November 16, 2004. About an hour later the Pegasus booster was released from the B-52 to accelerate the X-43A to its intended speed of Mach 10.

Image Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas