|Dryden Home > Collections > Movies Home > Movie EM-0077-01|
Theseus taking off at Edwards Air Force Base, California
October 24, 1996
|Formats||160x120 QuickTime Movie (1.1 MB)
320x240 QuickTime Movie (2.2 MB)
480x360 QuickTime Movie (3.4 MB)
640x480 QuickTime Movie (5.6 MB)
|Still photos of the Theseus are available in several resolutions at
This 31 second movie clip shows the Theseus taking off at Edwards Air Force Base.
The aircraft, built and operated by Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, is designed to support NASA's Mission to Planet Earth Enterprise by providing a high altitude, high endurance platform for carrying scientific remote sensing payloads.
Dryden hosted the Theseus program, providing hangar space and range safety for flight testing. Aurora Flight Sciences is responsible for the actual flight testing, vehicle flight safety, and operation of the aircraft.
The Theseus remotely piloted aircraft flew its maiden flight on May 24, 1996 at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. According to John Del Frate, Dryden's Theseus Project Manager, "Not only is the first flight significant, but the challenge associated with the entire operation exposes NASA and Aurora to important issues which need to be worked and developed as this new class of air vehicles transitions from experimental to commonplace."
Theseus was built for NASA under an innovative, $4.9 million fixed-price contract by Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, Manassas, Virginia, and its partners, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, and Fairmont State College, Fairmont, West Virginia.
The twin-engine, unpiloted vehicle has a 140-foot wingspan, and is constructed largely from composite materials. Powered by two 80-horsepower, turbocharged piston engines that drive twin 9-foot diameter propellers, Theseus is designed to fly autonomously at high altitudes, with takeoff and landing under the active control of a ground-based pilot in a ground control station "cockpit."
With the potential ability to carry 700 pounds of science instruments to altitudes above 60,000 feet for durations of greater than 24 hours, Theseus is intended to support research in areas such as stratospheric ozone depletion and the atmospheric effects
|Keywords||Theseus, remotely piloted