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X-40A completes third NASA drop test
Posted: Fri, Apr 27, 2001, 12:14 PM ET (1614 GMT)
X-40A drop test The X-40A experimental vehicle completed the third in a series of flight tests Thursday in California. The X-40A was dropped from a helicopter 4,560 meters above Edwards Air Force Base at 10:33 am EDT (1433 GMT) April 26, performing a series of complex maneuvers before safely landing two minutes later. The drop test in the third in a series of up to seven NASA has been conducting since mid-March. The X-40A, built by Boeing and on loan from the Air Force, is an 85 percent scale model of the X-37, a prototype of a proposed crew return vehicle (CRV) for the International Space Station, although recent budget pressures on ISS could force NASA to cede construction of the CRV to one of the international partners or drop it altogether. The X-40A was originally built as part of the Air Force's Space Maneuver Vehicle program and completed one drop test at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico in 1998.
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