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Latest Update: X-43A Flight

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Thought this was cool. Noticed this on http://slashdot.org.. It Think the X15 reached highest speed so far (in the atmosphere).

"The X-15 aircraft made a total of 199 flights over a period of nearly 10 years from 1959 to 1968. It set unofficial world speed and altitude records of 4,520 mph (Mach 6.7) and 354,200 feet. Information gained from the highly successful program contributed to the development of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft and the Space Shuttle program."

Maybe it i'll be different tommorow .

"The unpiloted 12-foot-long X-43A vehicle, part aircraft and part spacecraft, will be dropped from the wing of a B-52 aircraft, lofted to nearly 100,000 feet by a booster rocket and released over the Pacific Ocean to briefly fly under its own power at seven times the speed of sound (almost 5,000 mph).

The flight is part of the Hyper-X program, a research effort designed to demonstrate alternate propulsion technologies for access to space and high-speed flight within the atmosphere.

Hyper-X is inherently a high-risk program. No vehicle has ever flown at hypersonic speeds powered by an air-breathing scramjet engine. In addition, the rocket boost and subsequent separation from the rocket to get to the scramjet test condition have complex elements that must work properly for the mission to be successful.

View the live NASA TV Coverage which will begin at 12:00 p.m. PST on March 27, 2004."


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