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NASA’s B-52B launch aircraft takes off carrying the third X-43A hypersonic research vehicle on a captive carry evaluation flight September 27, 2004

Attached to the same B-52B mothership that once launched X-15 research aircraft in the 1960s, NASA's third X-43A performed a captive carry evaluation flight from Edwards Air Force Base, California on September 27, 2004. The X-43 remained mated to the B-52 throughout this mission, intended to check its readiness for launch scheduled later in the fall.

Image Credit: NASA/Tom Tschida