View Full Version : Discussion: X-43 Flight Delayed

2004-Nov-16, 07:11 PM
SUMMARY: NASA has pushed back the launch of its X-43A because of instrument trouble used up most of their launch window on Monday. Although they were go for launch at the end of the window, launch controllers decided to push the launch back until Tuesday. If all goes well, the innovative "scramjet" prototype will detach from a flying B-52 aircraft, and then accelerate to Mach 10 - 10 times the speed of sound, or 11,300 kph (7,000 mph).

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2004-Nov-16, 07:26 PM
This is an interesting project, but on reading a more detailed account it's clear that the actual X-43A will be pushed to Mach 10 by the booster rocket, and it will test how the engine works at that speed, but it will not have the power to even maintain speed during the few seconds that it is producing thrust.

It is important to realize that these are necessary tests to our understanding how to build SCRAM-Jet based aircraft, but we are not close to having a working self-propelled prototype.

2004-Nov-17, 06:37 AM
Dumb Question.....
Ok, obviously I could be wrong here (and probably am) but I thought the x-43 tests were sub-orbital (since it's launching off of a B-52, one would assume the flight is suborbital)? If they are, why would they need a "launch window"?

Sorry...just looking for some clarity here :-)
Bright Blessings,

2004-Nov-17, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by lomitus1@Nov 17 2004, 06:37 AM
why would they need a "launch window"?
I wondered that too. I assumed it was because of when personel were available without significant overtime, taking the full check-list and countdown into account. I noticed that the window was near the end of the day.

Congrats to the team on yesterday's successful flight.