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X-40A drop tests wind down
Posted: Thu, May 17, 2001, 9:50 AM ET (1350 GMT)
X-40A drop test A series of drop tests of the X-40A approached its conclusion Wednesday with the sixth successful drop test of the experimental vehicle. The X-40A was dropped from a helicopter 4,570 meters above Edwards Air Force Base, California at 9:16 am EDT and safely landed on the runway below a minute later, after reaching speeds of up to 415 kmph. The flight was the sixth of up to seven NASA-run drop tests of the vehicle. The X-40A, originally built to test a proposed Space Maneuver Vehicle for the Air Force, is an 85-percent scale model of the X-37, a NASA project to test technologies for future reusable spacecraft. The Boeing-built X-40A is on loan to NASA from the Air Force, who conducted one drop test of the vehicle in 1998.
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