Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA's X-34 Experimental Rocket Plane Begins New Pre-Flight Test Series

Date:
August 1, 2000
Source:
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
NASA’s X-34 experimental rocket plane program has kicked off a new phase of tests to prepare it for flight.

NASA’s X-34 experimental rocket plane program has kicked off a new phase of tests to prepare it for flight.

Related Articles


Following initial captive flight tests last year at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the X-34 technology demonstrator began a new series of tests last week in which it is being towed behind a semi-truck and released to coast on the Edwards dry lakebed. On Thursday, it was towed and released twice at speeds of five and 10 miles per hour. On Monday, it was towed and released twice at 10 and 30 miles per hour. The X-34 technology demonstrator is being developed for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. by Orbital Sciences Corp., of Dulles, Va.

"We are off to a very good start," explained Jeff Sexton at the Marshall Center. Sexton is flight-testing and operations project manager for the Pathfinder Program.

Twelve tests are planned during which the X-34 will be towed for distances up to 10,000 feet and released at speeds up to 80 miles per hour. The test series is expected to last at least six weeks.

"The tests, which simulate the vehicle’s roll-out after landing, will verify the craft’s guidance and navigation system, nose wheel steering, braking, rudder speed brake operation and rudder steering," Sexton said.

For these tests, the X-34 is attached to the tow truck by a specially designed 500-foot cable. A radio link is used to provide communications between the rocket plane and the tow truck launch panel operator.

"We’re pleased to begin another series of testing for the X-34 that will bring us one step closer to flight," said Antonio Elias, senior vice president and general manager of Orbital’s advanced programs group. "When completed, they will provide valuable data and help ensure the success of the flight program."

After completion of ground testing, the X-34 will be attached to Orbital’s L1011 carrier aircraft, Stargazer, to finish captive-carry flights required by the FAA to verify that the combined aircraft are safe to fly. Plans are to follow the certification program with approach and landing flights of the X-34 at White Sands Missile Range, NM.

The X-34 is a flying laboratory for technologies, operations and experiments applicable to future low-cost, reusable launch vehicles. It is one of a family of technology demonstrators aimed at lowering launch costs from $10,000 to $1,000 a pound.

The suborbital X-34 is 58.3 feet (17.77 meters) long and 27.7 feet (8.44) meters wide. It is capable of flying up to eight times the speed of sound and reaching altitudes of approximately 50 miles.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "NASA's X-34 Experimental Rocket Plane Begins New Pre-Flight Test Series." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000801075234.htm>.
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. (2000, August 1). NASA's X-34 Experimental Rocket Plane Begins New Pre-Flight Test Series. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000801075234.htm
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "NASA's X-34 Experimental Rocket Plane Begins New Pre-Flight Test Series." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000801075234.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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