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NASA Meatball NASA Dryden X-33 Advanced Technology Demonstrator banner
X-33 artist concept - 1999 X-33 artist concept - 1999

Photo Number: EC99-44921-1
Photo Date: 1999

Formats: 541x480 JPEG Image (114 KBytes)
1156x1024 JPEG Image (483 KBytes)
3000x2656 JPEG Image (3,842 KBytes)


An artist's conception of the half scale X-33 demonstrator flying over the southwestern desert. The vehicle was a wedge-shaped lifting body, with two vertical fins and a pair of stub wings. On the fins are the Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works logo, which was the prime contractor. At the rear is the aerospike engine, an experimental design that lacked the nozzles of conventional rockets. The X-33 tested several other new technologies, including composite structures and a metallic thermal protection system. It was hoped that these advances would lead eventually to an operational single-stage-to-orbit reusable launch vehicle called the VentureStar. However, due to technical problems with the composite liquid hydrogen tank, the X-33 program was cancelled in February 2001.

Keywords: X-33 Images

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
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