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NASA Meatball NASA Dryden X-33 Advanced Technology Demonstrator banner
Computer graphic of Lockheed Martin X-33 Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) mounted on NASA 747 ferry aircraft Computer graphic of Lockheed Martin X-33 Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) mounted on NASA 747 ferry aircraft

Photo Number: ED97-43938-5
Photo Date: 1997

Formats: 558x480 JPEG Image (42 KBytes)
1190x1024 JPEG Image (178 KBytes)
3030x2606 JPEG Image (1,297 KBytes)

This is an artist's conception of the NASA/Lockheed Martin X-33 on the back of a modified 747 airliner. This was a proposal means to move the X-33 from a landing site back to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, at Edwards, California.

The X-33 was intended to be a technology demonstrator for the development of a single-stage-to-orbit Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) called the "VentureStar. The RLV technology program was a cooperative agreement between NASA and industry. The goal of the RLV technology program was to enable significant reductions in the cost of access to space, and to promote the creation and delivery of new space services and other activities that would improve U.S. economic competitiveness.

NASA Headquarter's Office of Space Access and Technology oversaw the RLV program, which was managed by the RLV Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, located in Huntsville, Alabama. Responsibilities of other NASA Centers include: Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, guidance navigation and control technology, manned space systems, and health technology; Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA., thermal protection system testing; Langley Research Center, Langley, Virginia, wind tunnel testing and aerodynamic analysis; and Kennedy Space Center, Florida, RLV operations and health management.

Lockheed Martin's industry partners in the X-33 program were: Astronautics, Inc., Denver, Colorado, and Huntsville, Alabama; Engineering & Science Services, Houston, Texas; Manned Space Systems, New Orleans, LA; Sanders, Nashua, NH; and Space Operations, Titusville, Florida. Other industry partners are: Rocketdyne, Canoga Park, California; Allied Signal Aerospace, Teterboro, NJ; Rohr, Inc., Chula Vista, California; and Sverdrup Inc., St. Louis, Missouri.

Keywords: X-33 Advanced Technology Demonstrator; Lockheed Martin; SSTO; Single-Stage-To-Orbit; Reusable Launch Vehicle; RLV; half-scale prototype; Marshall Space Flight Center

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