Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

X-34 Rocket Plane Takes To The Sky As Part Of Safety Check

Date:
June 29, 1999
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
Locked to the belly of its newly modified L-1011 carrier aircraft, a test version of NASA's X-34 rocket plane is scheduled to make its first flight this week. The prototype of the robotic spacecraft will test new technologies and methods of operations needed to develop low-cost reusable space vehicles.

Locked to the belly of its newly modified L-1011 carrier aircraft, a test version of NASA's X-34 rocket plane is scheduled to make its first flight this week. The prototype of the robotic spacecraft will test new technologies and methods of operations needed to develop low-cost reusable space vehicles.

The first flight will begin at approximately 11 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 29, from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA. In this series of flights, the L-1011 and X-34 maneuvers will include a simulated launch flight. This captive-carry flight, in which the aircraft and test vehicle remain combined, will check for potentially hazardous conditions that may have resulted from modifications made to the L-1011 to enable it to carry the X-34.

When powered flights of the X-34 begin later this year, the experimental vehicle will be carried aloft by the L-1011, then released for rocket-powered flight and a standard horizontal landing. Eventually, the X-34 will perform high-speed suborbital free flights to demonstrate technologies such as advanced thermal protection system, composite structural components and autonomous landing.

The operational program is designed to demonstrate that reusable launch vehicles can be more reliable, fly more often and in worse conditions than current vehicles using a smaller operations team.

This captive-carry flight is the first of several tests that will be conducted as part of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification process for the mated vehicles. When a commercial airplane like the L-1011 is altered, the FAA must certify that the changes have not adversely affected the plane's safe operation.

The unpiloted X-34 is a single-engine rocket plane that will fly itself with onboard computers. It measures approximately 58 feet long, 11 feet tall and 28 feet across the wings. It will be powered by the new Fastrac engine, designed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, which also manages the X-34 program for NASA.

Dryden Flight Research Center is supporting the captive-carry part of the program with flight testing and ground vibration tests. In 1996, NASA awarded Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, VA, a contract now worth $85.7 million to design, build and test fly the X-34. The contract includes a structural test vehicle for vibration and captive carry flights and two flight vehicles. Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, VA owns the L-1011, which also launches the company's Pegasus Launch Vehicle.

###

For more information on the Advanced Space Transportation Program, visit its Web site:

http://stp.msfc.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "X-34 Rocket Plane Takes To The Sky As Part Of Safety Check." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990629085835.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (1999, June 29). X-34 Rocket Plane Takes To The Sky As Part Of Safety Check. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990629085835.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "X-34 Rocket Plane Takes To The Sky As Part Of Safety Check." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990629085835.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins