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Not quite a flying car, but we're getting there
March 27, 2004 9:23 AM   Subscribe

X-43A Flight. "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." Watch (RealPlayer) it live.
posted by cedar (34 comments total)

 
Release time is 4PM EST.
posted by anathema at 9:43 AM on March 27, 2004


Or you can watch Saturday morning kids shows on NASAtv RIGHT NOW! Woot.
posted by damclean2 at 10:09 AM on March 27, 2004


Thanks for the post!! I was wondering when this was happening, I kind of forgot about it. It's 3:19, looks like I'm just in time! Super w00t!
posted by tomplus2 at 12:23 PM on March 27, 2004


Here is the NASATV page. With a link to windows media player stream as well. FWIW this windows media player looks a bit clearer than the real.
posted by tomplus2 at 12:30 PM on March 27, 2004


Is it a fueling problem they're having?
posted by anathema at 1:10 PM on March 27, 2004


Never mind.
posted by anathema at 1:13 PM on March 27, 2004


T-9 and counting. . . .go to internal power.

What a fantastic techno-voyeur moment.

Props to cedar for the live video link. Vive la DSL!
posted by rdone at 1:54 PM on March 27, 2004


Oooh, T-2.
posted by thebabelfish at 1:58 PM on March 27, 2004


That thing moves.
posted by thebabelfish at 2:01 PM on March 27, 2004


"We are negative alpha." Come again?
posted by skoosh at 2:02 PM on March 27, 2004


I guess it worked cuz they were all clappy.
posted by teg at 2:04 PM on March 27, 2004


That thing got up to mach 3 mighty quick. Am I crazy or were they an hour late?

Ohhhh. mach 5!
posted by anathema at 2:05 PM on March 27, 2004


"Nasa 2 it appears we are losing data at this point." That can't be good, can it?
posted by thebabelfish at 2:05 PM on March 27, 2004


Does anybody know what the proposed uses are for the new technology? Military applications is a no-brainer, but are they considering this for any other applications, space or otherwise?
posted by fatbobsmith at 2:06 PM on March 27, 2004


anathema: No, live coverage started at 1600 US/Eastern, but launch was planned for 1700, and went exactly on time.
posted by thebabelfish at 2:07 PM on March 27, 2004


Wait, it's now at Mach 1.4? Huh?
posted by thebabelfish at 2:09 PM on March 27, 2004


Does anybody know what the proposed uses are for the new technology?

One thing that comes off the top of my head is the use of this technology for high-speed transports. Imagine flying across the Pacific in two hours. More info at FAS.
posted by moonbiter at 2:10 PM on March 27, 2004


It was only going to burst to Mach 5. The exciting part is over and it's coming back down.
posted by fatbobsmith at 2:10 PM on March 27, 2004


Woah! Cool! You could see the divers pick it up out of the water. At least I think they're the divers.
posted by thebabelfish at 2:12 PM on March 27, 2004


"Nasa 2 it appears we are losing data at this point."

That was just the fuel tank that dropped. The vehicle is self powered at this point. Also, they expected to lose data when the main vehicle went past the horizon, being picked up somewhere else. Or something.
posted by anathema at 2:12 PM on March 27, 2004


fatbobsmith and anathema: ah, I see.
posted by thebabelfish at 2:13 PM on March 27, 2004


Wait, the main vehicle is back down? Now I'm confused.
posted by anathema at 2:14 PM on March 27, 2004


X-43a background information
posted by fatbobsmith at 2:14 PM on March 27, 2004


I think it's just the booster that separated.
posted by anathema at 2:17 PM on March 27, 2004


Actually, live coverage really started at around 14:33 EST, but nothing much happened until 16:10. It was kinda cool just watching the plane on the ground in silence, with the occasional technicians in blue jumpsuits hovering around the "research vehicle" and chatter from ground control. Very soothing.
posted by skoosh at 2:17 PM on March 27, 2004


Thanks, fatbob. According to that chart it has descended. Thanks for the extra info. That was fast!
posted by anathema at 2:18 PM on March 27, 2004


anathema: This mission profile graphic might help you.
posted by moonbiter at 2:19 PM on March 27, 2004


I could have sworn one of the guys just said "ass bunny"...
posted by thebabelfish at 2:21 PM on March 27, 2004


Show's over. That was quick...
posted by skoosh at 2:23 PM on March 27, 2004


Yeah. fatbob's link has a similar graphic. Thanks.
posted by anathema at 2:38 PM on March 27, 2004


One thing that comes off the top of my head is the use of this technology for high-speed transports. Imagine flying across the Pacific in two hours

It's been done before, in the venerable SR71.

In 1 hour 54 minutes and 56.4 seconds, new york to london. Pretty damn fast.
posted by knapah at 3:08 PM on March 27, 2004


Wow, they went from New York to London, via the pacific in 2 hours, color me impressed.
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 3:43 PM on March 27, 2004


Wow, they went from New York to London, via the pacific in 2 hours, color me impressed.

Heh.

Looks like the X-43A broke the air speed record, reaching Mach 7.
posted by moonbiter at 2:09 PM on March 28, 2004


Wow, they went from New York to London, via the pacific in 2 hours, color me impressed

oh damn, there's me not reading things properly again.

colour me embarrassed. is it my fault i'm atlantic oriented?? "yes actually".
posted by knapah at 2:32 PM on April 4, 2004


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