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X-33 Advanced Technology Demonstrator Photo Gallery Contact Sheet X-33 Advanced Technology Demonstrator Contact Sheet

Photo Number: N/A
Photo Date: N/A

Formats: Low Resolution Image Contact Sheet (121 KBytes)
Medium Resolution Image Contact Sheet (121 KBytes)
High Resolution Image Contact Sheet (121 KBytes)

Photo
Description:
These are the image contact sheets for each image resolution of the NASA Dryden X-33 Advanced Technology Demonstrator Photo Gallery.

On July 2, 1996, NASA selected Lockheed Martin to design, build and fly the X-33 test vehicle between March and December 1999.


Project
Description:
The X-33 was to have been a wedged-shaped subscale technology demonstrator prototype of a potential future Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) that Lockheed Martin dubbed VentureStar. The company hoped to develop VentureStar early this century. Through demonstration flight and ground research, NASA's X-33 program was to have provide the information needed for industry representatives such as Lockheed Martin to decide whether to proceed with the development of a full-scale, commercial RLV program.

The X-33 design was based on a lifting body shape with two revolutionary "linear aerospike" rocket engines and a rugged metallic thermal protection system. The vehicle also was to have had lightweight components and fuel tanks built to conform to the vehicle's outer shape. Time between X-33 flights was planned to normally be seven days, but the program hoped to demonstrate a two-day turnaround between flights during the flight-test phase of the program.

The X-33 was to have been an unpiloted vehicle that took off vertically like a rocket and landed horizontally like an airplane. It was planned to reach altitudes of up to 50 miles and high hypersonic speeds. The X-33 Program was managed by the Marshall Space flight Center and was planned to have been launched at a special launch site on Edwards Air Force Base. Technical problems with the composite liquid hydrogen tank resulted in the program being cancelled in February 2001.


NASA Photo by: N/A

Keywords: X-33; Lockheed Martin; VentureStar; RLV; Reusable Launch Vehicle; aerospike rocket engines; Dryden Flight Research Center; Marshall Space Flight Center; lifting bodies.


Last Modified: December 21, 2004
Responsible NASA Official: Marty Curry
Curator:
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