Fwd = [UASR]> X-43A destroyed in flight
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Originally from: Ndunlks@...
Original Subject: [UASR]> Experimental NASA plane destroyed in flight
Original Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 18:19:59 EDT
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[U A S R]> UFOs-, ALIENs-, SPACE- RESEARCH MAILING LIST <[U A S R]
Experimental NASA plane destroyed in flight
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., June 2 (Reuters) - A prototype of an
aircraft intended to make aviation history and shatter speed records was
destroyed during its maiden flight on Saturday after a booster rocket
carrying it aloft veered out of control.
U.S. space scientists were forced to destroy the X43-A prototype in
mid-air just minutes before the plane fired its hypersonic "scramjet"
engine designed to drive it at seven times the speed of sound.
NASA cameras aboard two F-18 chase planes showed the Pegasus rocket
careening off course and tumbling out of the sky before controllers
triggered on-board explosives to destroy it over the Pacific Ocean.
The X43-A was making the first of three scheduled test flights in a
$185-million-program that NASA has billed as representing the future of
aviation, ultimately making space travel routine and paving the way for
cross-country commercial flights in 30 minutes.
Dejected project scientists said they had no immediate information on what
caused the malfunction, though they said it was the booster rocket, and
not the X43-A itself, that appeared to be at fault.
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