Jim Cast Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1779


July 20, 1995

Dom Amatore Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL (Phone: 205/544-0031) RELEASE: 95-114 NASA RECEIVES "DC-XA" ROCKET FOR DEVELOPMENT OF RLV TECHNOLOGY The U.S. Air Force has transferred to NASA's Office of Space Access and Technology the unpiloted, single-stage rocket known as the Delta Clipper-Experimental (DC-X) for use in NASA's Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) technology program. The transfer was made after the successful completion of a series of test flights conducted for the Air Force by McDonnell Douglas at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The rocket, renamed the Delta ClipperExperimental Advanced (DC-XA) by NASA, now will be modified with technology intended for use in the X-33 or X-34 reusable launch vehicles now under development by NASA and its aerospace industry partners. The DC-XA then will undergo extensive ground and flight testing that will provide valuable information to the X-33 and X-34 programs. Flight testing could begin as early as April 1996 at White Sands. "We plan to take these new technology components and test them in a real world environment," said NASA's DC-XA project manager Dan Dumbacher of Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL. Marshall is the host center for NASA's RLV technology program. "We will demonstrate what it takes to support and operate this single-stage rocket and show its performance in the real world. What we learn by testing the DC-XA will enable us to reduce hardware design changes downstream in the X-33 and X-34 programs. This will save these programs both time and money."

McDonnell Douglas will make the enhancements to the DC-XA in Huntington Beach, CA. Changes include the addition of an aluminum-lithium liquid oxygen tank; a composite (graphite epoxy) liquid hydrogen tank; a composite intertank; and a liquid-to-gas converter assembly in the flight reaction control system. McDonnell Douglas will design and develop most of these components and conduct the flight tests for NASA. They will share some of the costs of the DC-XA. Hardware costs are $20 million and integration costs are $30 million. -more-2Phillips Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM, will act as NASA's deputy for Flight Test and Operations for the DC-XA. NASA field centers supporting the DC-XA include Marshall; Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA; and the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA. - end EDITOR'S NOTE: Images are available to media representatives to illustrate this release by calling the News Branch at 202/358-1900. NASA photo numbers are: Color: 95-HC-361, 95-HC-362, 95-HC363; Black & White: 95-H-371, 95-H-372, 95-H-373. NASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail message to domo@hq.nasa.gov. In the body of the message (not the subject line) users should type the words "subscribe pressrelease" (no quotes). The system will reply with a confirmation via E-mail of each subscription. A second automatic message will include additional information on the service. Questions should be directed to (202) 358-4043.