THIS DAY IN HISTORY: NASA’s Hyper-X Program Achieves Record Flight with Hypersonic Speeds Above 7,000 MPH or Mach 9.6
By Space Coast Daily // November 17, 2020
November 17, 2004
ABOVE VIDEO: NASA X-43 Flight Animation Hypersonic Scramjet X-Plane.
(NASA) – Researchers in NASA’s Hyper-X program sought to validate key propulsion and other technologies for air-breathing hypersonic aircraft. Unlike rocket-powered vehicles like the Space Shuttle, scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) powered vehicles do not have to carry their own oxidizer.
As a result, aircraft can be smaller and lighter, or be the same size but carry more payload.
Years of research culminated in the record-breaking flight of the X-43A scramjet on November 17, 2004.
About an hour before the flight, X-43A Monitor Station Operator Brad Neal, pictured here, performed final checks and pre-flight preparations.
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