Encyclopedia Astronautica
Hyper X


American test vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x NB-52 + 1 x Orion 50S

Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 2001-06-02. Last Fail Date: 2001-06-02.

Status: Retired 2004.
Gross mass: 18,800 kg (41,400 lb).
Height: 14.90 m (48.80 ft).
Diameter: 1.28 m (4.19 ft).
Thrust: 726.00 kN (163,211 lbf).
Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).
First Launch: 2001.06.02.
Last Launch: 2004.11.16.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Pegasus Privately-funded, air-launched winged light satellite launcher. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • OSC American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Orbital Sciences Corporation, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Point Arguello WADZ Air-launched rocket drop zone known to have been used for 28 launches from 1990 to 2007, reaching up to 4539 kilometers altitude. More...

Associated Stages
  • NB-52 Subsonic rocket launch aircraft. Loaded/empty mass 177,273/70,545 kg. Thrust 430.47 kN. Specific impulse 5142 seconds. Boeing Bomber-swept wing. Maximum release conditions: Wing mounted, 25,000 kg (19.1 m length x 6.7 m span) at 880 kph at 11,448 m altitude More...
  • Orion 50S Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 14,020/1,868 kg. Thrust 484.91 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 294 seconds. More...

Hyper X Chronology


2001 June 2 - . 20:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Hyper X. LV Configuration: Hyper X 1. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • X-43A test - . Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Apogee: 7.00 km (4.30 mi). Hypersonic scramjet vehicle test. The X-43A/Pegasus booster combination was air-launched at 7600 m altitude. However the booster disintegrated at Max-Q. The redesign of the launch profile and modifications to the booster would take NASA almost three years.

2004 March 27 - . 21:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Hyper X. LV Configuration: Hyper X 2.
  • X-43A-2 (Hyper X) - . Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Apogee: 29 km (18 mi). The second X-43 launch incorporated modifications to the first flight vehicle, including an upgraded control system, redesigned autopilot, off-loaded rocket motor, and improved analytical models. The second flight was launched at 12,200 m instead of the 7600 m altitude of the failed first launch to reduce transonic aerodynamic loads and improve structural and control system margins. An offloaded Orion 50S solid rocket motor reduced maximum dynamic pressure during the flight.

2004 November 16 - . 22:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Hyper X. LV Configuration: Hyper X 3.
  • X-43A test - . Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Apogee: 33 km (20 mi). Delayed from September, November 9 and 15. Final test of NASA's X-43A-3 Hyper X hypersonic scramjet demonstrated air-frame integrated scramjet performance at speeds approaching Mach 10. Changes to the launch vehicle compared to Flight 2 included high-temperature thermal protection system tiles on the wing and fin leading edge, elimination of all ballast, a full propellant load on the ATK Orion 50S booster, lightweight aluminum structures, and updated control laws and aerodynamics.

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