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NASA’s B-52B launch aircraft takes off carrying the third X-43A hypersonic research vehicle attached to a modified Pegasus rocket, on November 16, 2004

The third X-43A hypersonic research aircraft and its modified Pegasus booster rocket left the runway, carried aloft 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 launched from the B-52 to accelerate the X-43A to its intended speed of Mach 10.

Image Credit: NASA/Tom Tschida