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Close view of B-52/Pegasus with X-43A in flight. Close view of B-52/Pegasus with X-43A in flight.

Photo Number: EC01-0126-06
Photo Date: April 28, 2001

Formats: 582x480 JPEG Image (74 KBytes)
1243x1024 JPEG Image (398 KBytes)
3000x2470 JPEG Image (3,557 KBytes)

Photo
Description:
The NASA X-43A hypersonic research vehicle and its Pegasus booster rocket, mounted beneath the wing of their B-52 mothership, had a successful first captive-carry flight on April 28, 2001, Basically a dress rehearsal for a subsequent free flight, the captive-carry flight kept the X-43A-and-Pegasus combination attached to the B-52's wing pylon throughout the almost two-hour mission from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., over the Pacific Missile Test Range, and back to Dryden.

Project
Description:
The NASA X-43A hypersonic research vehicle and its Pegasus booster rocket, mounted beneath the wing of their B-52 mothership, had a successful first captive-carry flight on April 28, 2001, Basically a dress rehearsal for a subsequent free flight, the captive-carry flight kept the X-43A-and-Pegasus combination attached to the B-52's wing pylon throughout the almost two-hour mission from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., over the Pacific Missile Test Range, and back to Dryden. After taking off from the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., at 12:33 p.m. PDT, the B-52 soared off the California coast on the predetermined flight path, and returned to Dryden for a 2:19 p.m. PDT landing. Pending thorough evaluation of all flight data, this captive-carry test could lead to the first flight of the X-43A "stack" as early as mid-May. The first free flight will be air-launched by NASA's B-52 at about 24,000 feet altitude. The booster will accelerate the X-43A to Mach 7 to approximately 95,000 feet altitude. At booster burnout, the X-43 will separate from the booster and fly under its own power on a preprogrammed flight path. The hydrogen-fueled aircraft has a wingspan of approximately 5 feet, measures 12 feet long and weighs about 2,800 pounds.

NASA Photo by: Lori Losey

Keywords: B-52; Pegasus; X43A; captive carry; in flight


Last Modified: February 6, 2002
Responsible NASA Official: Marty Curry
Curator:
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