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X-40A completes second NASA drop test
Posted: Fri, Apr 13, 2001, 1:38 PM ET (1738 GMT)
X-40A drop test The X-40A, a prototype of an experimental reusable spacecraft, completed its second NASA-run drop test in California Thursday. The vehicle was released from a helicopter 4,590 meters above Edwards Air Force Base, California at 11:45 am EDT (1545 GMT) Thursday morning, and glided to a successful landing two minutes later. The vehicle made a series of complex maneuvers during its descent, in contrast to a more straightforward landing during a drop test last month. Up to five more drop tests of the X-40A are planned at Edwards in the coming months. The X-40A is an 85-percent scale model of the X-37, an experimental spacecraft NASA is developing to test technologies for future reusable vehicles. Before being loaned to NASA as part of the X-37 program, the Boeing-built X-40A was part of the Air Force's Space Maneuver Vehicle program, and completed one drop test in 1998 from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
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