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NASA Meatball X-43A  Photo Collection banner

A modified Pegasus rocket drops away after release from NASA's B-52B before accelerating the X-43A over a Pacific Ocean test range on Nov. 16, 2004.

Photo Number: EC04-0325-32
Photo Date: November 16, 2004
Formats: 432x640 JPEG Image (198 KBytes)
863x1280 JPEG Image (939 KBytes)
2022x3000 JPEG Image (5472 KBytes)
The third X-43A hypersonic research aircraft and its modified Pegasus booster rocket drop away from NASA's B-52B launch aircraft over the Pacific Ocean on November 16, 2004. The mission originated from the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Moments later the Pegasus booster ignited 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, drop, release

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