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NASA cancels technology development programs
Posted: Fri, Mar 19, 2004, 8:42 AM ET (1342 GMT)
NASA has started canceling technology development programs that don't fit the needs of the new space initiative, including a hypersonic flight program and a new reusable engine, a top NASA official said Thursday. Craig Steidle, the associate administrator for NASA's new Office of Exploration Systems, told members of the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee on Thursday that the agency has completed a review of all 140 technology development programs run by the agency. Under questioning by Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX), Steidle said that the agency had cancelled both the X-43C and the RS-84 programs. The X-43C, a joint project with the Air Force Research Laboratory, was a hypersonic flight test program that was designed to follow on from the X-43A program currently in progress, while the RS-84 was a large reusable rocket engine being developed by Rocketdyne under a project that dated back to the Space Launch Initiative. Steidle said that neither program met the needs of the exploration program at this time. He did not specify when those programs were cancelled, but earlier in the week officials with the exploration office said that they had completed the review of all their technology programs at the end of last week. Steidle had previously stated that the agency planned to drop those technology programs that did not meet the agency's exploration needs, but that new programs would be started to fill in the gaps identified in the review.
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