Technical exposition highlights new X-vehicles
NASAs X-34 and X-40A and mockups of the X-43 and X-37 technology demonstrators will be among the vehicles available for media viewing at Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., during the NASA Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Technology Exposition on June 22, 2000. Launch aircraft may also be available, pending test schedules. Project representatives will be available for interviews about the vehicles.
Speakers during the morning session, open to the media, will present the history, current status, and future plans of NASAs reusable launch vehicle program. The afternoon session, which will highlight the X-37 Project and its related technologies, is geared toward industry representatives and is not open to media.
"The expo will give NASA and Boeing a chance to tell the American launch vehicle industry about the X-37 program and how they can benefit from the technologies demonstrated by X-37," said Susan Turner, X-37 Project Manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Marshall is NASA's lead center for space transportation systems development.
Topics to be addressed during the morning session of the exposition include: NASAs Vision and Goals for RLVs, by Robert Sackheim, Assistant Director for
Space Propulsion Systems at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.;
Future Generations of RLVs, by Danny Davis, deputy manager for the Second Generation RLV Program at Marshall; X-34 and Future-X Pathfinder Program, by John London, manager of the NASA Future-X Pathfinder Program at Marshall; X-37 Project Overview, by Susan Turner, manager of that project at Marshall; and X-Vehicle Flight Testing, by Larry Crawford, Director of Aerospace Projects at Dryden. These and others will be available for interviews immediately following the mornings events.
"We are extremely excited to participate in this event at NASA Dryden, which will highlight the new technologies we are pursuing on the X-37 program," said Dick Cervisi, X-37 Program Manager for Boeing Phantom Works. "As part of this overall effort, our X-40A test vehicle is currently being prepared for test flights in support of the X-37."
The exposition coincides with the recent arrival of the Boeing X-40A at Dryden where its drop tests will continue. The U.S. Air Force and Boeing flew the X-40A at Holloman Air Force Base in 1998.
"Dryden is happy to be hosting this technology exposition and happy to be seeing more high-energy X-vehicles," says Larry Crawford, Director of Aerospace Projects at Dryden. "We've been out of the high-energy X-vehicle business since the X-15, so it's good to be back to help rapidly advance the nation's space program," Crawford said.
NASAs Pathfinder Program is a key element in NASA's RLV endeavor. This ongoing series of flight demonstrations is dedicated to flight research that will lead to reducing the cost of access to space.
The X-37 will be the first of NASAs fleet of reusable launch vehicle technology demonstrators to operate in both the orbital and reentry phases of flight. It will test numerous technologies such as thermal protection and lightweight structures needed for future reusable spacecraft capable of launching payloads for $1,000 per pound compared to $10,000 per pound today.
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