Boeing X-40A

Boeing X-40A Experimental Space Maneuver Vehicle was built to test landing technologies for the later X-37.

X-40A

The X-40A successfully completed a series of seven approach and landing tests at NASA Dryden in 2000 and 2001. About 20 percent smaller than the X-37, the X-40A was released from a helicopter at 4600 m during the series of unpowered glide flights.X-40A

These flights validated the autonomous flight control system planned for the X-37, thereby reducing the risk of the X-37 program. 

First flight at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center for the X-40A was a 74 second glide from 15,000 feet on March 14, 2001.

First flight at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center for the X-40A was a 74 second glide from 15,000 feet on March 14, 2001.

To reduce technical risk before flight-testing the X-37, the X-40A was released from a U.S. Army Chinook helicopter for seven free flight tests in 2001.

X-40A

Each of the seven flights were successfully completed. The unpiloted X-40 is a risk-reduction vehicle for the X-37, which is intended to be a reusable space vehicle.

At Dryden, the X-40A will undergo a series of ground and air tests to reduce possible risks to the larger X-37, including drop tests from a helicopter to check guidance and navigation systems planned for use in the X-37.

The X-37 is designed to demonstrate technologies in the orbital and reentry environments for next-generation reusable launch vehicles that will increase both safety and reliability, while reducing launch costs from $10,000 per pound to $1,000 per pound.







X-40A




Specifications - X-40

General characteristics
Dimensions:

Length: 21ft 5in: 6.5 m
Wingspan: 11ft 6in: 3.5 m
Height: 7ft 5in: 2.3 m
Performance:
Maximum speed:
300 mph: 480 km/h

Links:
http://www.codeonemagazine.com
http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov
http://www.edwards.af.mil
http://www.globalaircraft.org
http://www.drivearchive.co.uk
http://users.dbscorp.net
http://www.fas.org

(This text was adapted from http://www.wikipedia.org/ )(GFDL)
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