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NASA's B-52B launch aircraft cruises to a test range over the Pacific Ocean carrying the third X-43A vehicle attached to a Pegasus rocket on November 16, 2004.

Photo Number: EC04-0325-23
Photo Date: November 16, 2004
Formats: 640x621 JPEG Image (217 KBytes)
1280x1242 JPEG Image (946 KBytes)
3000x2910 JPEG Image (5776 KBytes)
The third X-43A hypersonic research aircraft, attached to a modified Pegasus booster rocket, was taken to launch altitude by NASA's B-52B launch aircraft from the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on November 16, 2004. About an hour later the Pegasus booster was released from the B-52 to accelerate the X-43A to its intended speed of Mach 10.
The high-risk, high-payoff X-43A flights are the first actual flight tests of an aircraft powered by a scramjet engine capable of operating at hypersonic speeds (above Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound). The X-43A is powered by a revolutionary air-breathing supersonic-combustion ramjet or "scramjet" engine.
NASA Photo by: Carla Thomas
Keywords: X-43A, X-43, Hyper-X, mach 10, vehicle 3, #3 hypersonic, B-52, B-52B, mothership, scramjet, Pegasus booster rocket

Last Modified: November 16, 2004
Responsible NASA Official: Marty Curry
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