NASA Daily News Summary For Release: August 24, 1999 Media Advisory m99-173 Summary: EXPERIMENTAL X-34 ROCKET

PLANE TO BEGIN EXTENSIVE TESTING Video File for August 24, 1999 Item 1 - X-34 animation Item 2 - X-37 animation Item 3 - Kennedy Space Center Delivers X-33 Vehicle's Umbilical System (replay) Item 4 - Hubble Space Telescope Image - Southern Crab Nebula NOTE: Live Television Event Today 1:00 - 3:00 pm - X-Vehicle Overview Briefing - NASA Headquarters For information see: ********** EXPERIMENTAL X-34 ROCKET PLANE TO BEGIN EXTENSIVE TESTING NASA's experimental X-34 rocket plane will undergo testing in New Mexico, California and Florida under a test plan recently approved by Agency officials. Both schedule and cost implications are currently being evaluated. To support the expanded flight test program, engineers from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, and Orbital Sciences Corporation, Dulles, VA, will upgrade the first airframe, designated A-1A, for flight. Following a series of tow tests on the ground at Dryden, the A-1A will be used to conduct unpowered test flights from Orbital's L1011 carrier aircraft at the Army�s White Sands Missile Range, NM. At the same time, Orbital, NASA's contractor for X-34, will complete assembly of the second X-34, designated A-2. Its Fastrac rocket engine will be installed on the vehicle and test fired on the ground at Holloman Air Force Base, NM, test facilities. After these ground test firings, the first series of powered flight tests of the X-34 will take place at Dryden. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Jim Cast 202/3581779. Contact at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL: Dom Amatore 256/544-0031. For full text, see: ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/pressrel/1999/99-XXX.txt ---------If NASA issues additional news releases later today, we will e-mail summaries and Internet URLs to this list. http://www.nasa.gov/ntv/breaking.html

Index of 1999 NASA News Releases: http://www.nasa.gov/releases/1999/index.html ********** Video File for August 24, 1999 The X-33, X-34, and X-37 programs were designed to pave the way to a full-scale, commercially developed reusable launch vehicles. The Future-X Program will put the U.S. on a path toward safe, affordable, reliable access to space, by proving the latest technology is ready for space flight. For more information see: http://www1.msfc.nasa.gov/NEWMSFC/xplanes.html Item 1 - X-34 (animation) TRT 1:59

The unpiloted, reusable X-34 is designed to demonstrate technologies and operations necessary to cut the cost of putting payloads into orbit from $10,000 to $1,000 per pound. Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, VA, has an $85.7 million contract with NASA to design, build and test fly three X-34 vehicles. The winged, single-engine X-34 is 58.3 feet long. It has a 27.7-foot wingspan and stands 11.5 feet tall. It will be powered by a reusable Fastrac engine, designed and developed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center engineers and built by NASA�s industry partners. The X-34 is designed to be air-launched from beneath Orbital's modified L-1011 carrier plane and make an automated landing on a conventional runway and be readied for its next flight. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Jim Cast 202/3581779. Contact at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL: Dom Amatore 256/544-0031. Item 2 - X-37 New Space Plane (animation) TRT 3:44

NASA and the Boeing Co. have entered into an agreement to develop an experimental space plane called the X-37 that will be ferried into orbit to test new technologies for reusable launch vehicles. The reusable space plane can be carried into orbit by the shuttle or launched by a rocket. While in orbit, it will remain up to 21 days, performing a variety of experiments before re-entering the atmosphere and landing. The space plane will also demonstrate 41 airframe, propulsion and operations technologies aimed at significantly cutting the cost of space flight. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Jim Cast 202/3581779. Contact at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL: Dom Amatore 256/544-0031.

Item 3 - Kennedy Space Center Delivers X-33 Vehicle's Umbilical System (replay) The X-33 is the flagship technology demonstrator for technologies that will dramatically lower the cost of access to space. It is unpiloted, taking off vertically like a rocket, reaching an altitude of up to 60 miles and speeds between Mach 13 and 15 (13 to 15 times the speed of sound), and landing horizontally like an airplane. As many as 15 flight tests are planned, beginning in 2000. Contact at NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL: 2468. Joel Wells 407/867TRT 1:06

Item 3a - KSC Delivers X-33 Umbilical System

Animation depicts the X-33 at the launch site on Edwards Air Force Base, CA. The highlighted area at the bottom of the vehicle identifies the umbilical system which was designed, fabricated and tested at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), FL. The prominent carbon steel tunnels provide launch blast protection to the sophisticated plumbing that transfers liquid propellant into the X-33. Item 3b - X-33 Footage TRT 3:31

Kennedy Space Center engineers and technicians designed, fabricated and tested the Umbilical System that will accommodate pre-launch propellant loading for the X-33 vehicle and splitsecond separation from the vehicle at launch. The final products were shipped to California in July 1999. Item 3c - B-roll TRT 2:10

The ground Umbilical components were shipped to Edwards Air Force, CA and installed at the X-33 launch site. The flight umbilical components were installed on the launch vehicle at the X-33 hangar in Palmdale, CA. Item 3d - Interview: Allen Littlefield TRT 2:00

NASA Engineer Allen Littlefield explains the important role of the X-33 umbilical system and discusses KSC's significant contributions to the project. Item 4 - Hubble Space Telescope Image - Southern Crab Nebula A tempestuous relationship between an unlikely pair of stars may have created an oddly shaped, gaseous nebula that resembles an hourglass nestled within an hourglass. Images taken with Earthbased telescopes have shown the larger, hourglass-shaped nebula. But this picture, taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals a small, bright nebula embedded in the center of the larger one (close-up of nebula in inset). Astronomers have dubbed the entire nebula the "Southern Crab Nebula" (He2-104), because, from ground-based telescopes, it looks like the body and legs of a crab. The nebula is several light-years long.

For more information see: http://www.stsci.edu/top.html Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Donald Savage 202/358-1547. Contact at Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD: Villard 410/338-4707. ----The NASA Video File normally airs at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight Eastern Time. NASA Television is available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is on 3880.0 megahertz, with audio on 6.8 megahertz. Refer general questions about the video file to NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Ray Castillo, 202/358-4555, or Elvia Thompson, 202/358-1696. During Space Shuttle missions, you can access the full NASA TV schedule from: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/nasatv/schedule.html For general information about NASA TV see: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv/ ********** Contract Awards Contract awards are posted to the NASA Acquisition information Service Web site: http://procurement.nasa.gov/EPS/award.html ********** The NASA Daily News Summary is issued each business day at approximately 2 p.m. Eastern time. Members of the media who wish to subscribe or unsubscribe from this list, please send e-mail message to: Brian.Dunbar@hq.nasa.gov ********** end of daily news summary

Ray