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X-38 drop test delayed until next week
Posted: Wed, Jul 4, 2001, 10:57 AM ET (1457 GMT)
X-38 in free flight (NASA/DFRC) A planned drop test of the X-38 experimental vehicle, delayed last week, will not take place until next week, according to NASA officials. The agency had planned to perform an unpowered drop test of the X-38, seventh in a series, on June 29, but postponed the test after ground communications problems developed after the B-52 carrying the X-38 under its wing was already airborne. Officials have rescheduled the flight for July 10 or 11, choosing to wait until after the Independence Day holiday although the problem has already been corrected. NASA has been performing unpowered flight tests of the X-38 at Edwards Air Force Base in California since 1998 as part of a program to develop a crew return vehicle (CRV) for the International Space Station. That program is in jeopardy, however, as the large space station budget overrun has led NASA to announce plans to cease development of a CRV. In addition, last week NASA officials said they were halting plans to perform an orbital flight test of the X-38 after reporting that the station overrun had grown by several hundred million dollars.
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