A View from Jeff Foust

X-43A Test Flight a Success

Saturday’s test flight of NASA’s X-43A hypersonic test vehicle was a success: the vehicle reached a peak speed of Mach 7 and its air-breathing scramjet engine ran as planned for 11 seconds (limited by the small amount of liquid hydrogen…

  • March 29, 2004

Saturday’s test flight of NASA’s X-43A hypersonic test vehicle was a success: the vehicle reached a peak speed of Mach 7 and its air-breathing scramjet engine ran as planned for 11 seconds (limited by the small amount of liquid hydrogen fuel it carried.) The successful flight means that NASA will likely fly the third and final X-43A vehicle as soon as this fall, this time aiming for a top speed of Mach 10. As I previously noted, though, the future of NASA hypersonic research is uncertain after the agency cancelled the X-43C, the planned follow-on to the X-43A, earlier this month. However, the Dayton Daily News reports that the Air Force Research Laboratory will press on with its own program, the Single Engine Demonstrator, that could make unmanned flights at Mach 6-7 in 2008.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning magazine and daily delivery of The Download, our newsletter of what’s important in technology and innovation.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.