Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

FWD: [UASR] NASA rolls out reusable rocketplane

Expand Messages
  • Frits Westra
    Posted by : Ndunlks@aol.comNASA rolls out reusable rocketplaneCopyright 1999 Nando Media Copyright 1999 Reuters News ServiceEDWARDS, Calif. (April 30,
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 1999
    • 0 Attachment
      Posted by : Ndunlks@...

      NASA rolls out reusable rocketplane

      Copyright 1999 Nando Media
      Copyright 1999 Reuters News Service

      EDWARDS, Calif. (April 30, 1999 10:04 p.m. EDT
      http://www.nandotimes.com) - A test version of a reusable
      "rocketplane" that could fly at eight times the speed of sound and
      launch satellites was rolled out on Friday at a NASA research center
      here.

      The unmanned, single-engine X-34 experimental space launch vehicle,
      built by Orbital Sciences Corp., will be used to test new technologies
      for the development of reusable satellite launch vehicles, which would
      cut the cost of putting payloads into space.

      The 58-foot long X-34 will be carried aloft by a Lockheed L-1011
      TriStar jet and then released. It will be able to fly as high as
      250,000 feet at speeds of up to Mach 8, or eight times the speed of
      sound, and land on a conventional runway.

      The rocketplane, which has a 28-foot wingspan, was rolled out on
      Friday at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Dryden
      Flight Research Centre.

      "We need new technologies that allow spacecraft to operate more like
      today's commercial air carriers," X-34 project manager Mike Allen of
      the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said in a
      statement.

      Most satellites are sent into space aboard rockets that are used just
      once, and a reusable launch vehicle could substantially lower the cost
      of putting satellites into space.

      "By reducing the cost of launch services, space will be made more
      accessible to a wider group of commercial and government customers,"
      Orbital President David Thompson said in a speech at the Centre.

      Over the next several months, Orbital will conduct several test
      flights of the X-34 with its L-1011 carrier aircraft to allow the U.S.
      Federal Aviation Administration to approve design modifications to the
      L-1011 to accommodate the X-34.

      Afterward, several unpowered flights will be conducted in which the
      X-34 will be released from the L-1011 and glide back to Earth. These
      tests will lead to the first powered flight in which the vehicle
      will ignite its "Fastrac" turbopump rocket engine and land like an
      aircraft, initially on a dry lakebed, and eventually on a conventional
      runway.

      The relatively simple and easy-to-build engine, being developed by
      NASA at its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., is part
      of a drive to develop technology to lower the cost of getting to
      space.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.