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X-43A Mach 10 Mission Scrubbed For Today

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the so-it-will-be-nice-and-shiny dept.

Space 98

An anonymous reader writes "NASA's third X-43A hypersonic research mission has been scrubbed for today due to technical glitches with X-43A instrumentation. When the issues were addressed, not enough time remained in the launch window."

cancel ×

98 comments

w00t (-1, Offtopic)

middle_name_1337 (827508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825398)

w00t too 1337

Re:w00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10825414)

congratulations, sir

Time.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10825431)

Take your time NASA, no more of this "faster quicker cheaper" crap you have been sending out recently.

"Scrubbed?" (0, Offtopic)

SledgeHBK (148480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825432)

I've never seen the word used this way.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=scrubbe d

Well damn. I guess I'm just not terribly bright.

Re:"Scrubbed?" (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825516)

Well you might be bright, but Scrubbed in that form is common amoung the military.

When you scrub a mission you have cancled it for the day. I think it refers to scrubbing the mission planning board, usally a white board or chalk board.

Once the board is scrubbed clean, you don't know where you are going.

Okay it's a bit of a stretch.

Re:"Scrubbed?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10826201)

Nahoo Wayy. Scrubbed mission means that you take all of the technicians, the plane, the pilot and the ground crew, and you make 'em wash up for once. "Get your finger out of there, you don't know where it's been" and "that's a disgusting habbit, quit it" and "don't forget behind your ears" should be common phrases. You can also show them a film on hygene, and how not to go blind. You should never put up with the phrase "Honest mom, I was just cleaning it and it went off". A scrubbed mission is a happy mission, sqeaky clean and ready for the next day. The thing you have to watch for after a scrubbed mission is birds. If a large flock of birds flies overhead, you might have to scrub that old mission again!

SpaceFlightNow has much better updates (4, Informative)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825447)

SpaceFlightNow's X-43 coverage [spaceflightnow.com]

Good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10825453)

We want it nice and clean for the Mach 10 flight. Don't want a dirty plane!

That's not what happened (2, Funny)

asadodetira (664509) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825455)

It flew so fast that it traveled forward in time. Have you noticed that the X-43A has a little box attached. What do you think the little box does? (Reference to Primer movie)

Re:That's not what happened (4, Funny)

Nermal6693 (622898) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825478)

I travel forward in time every day, and I don't need a little box to do it.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

SuperDuperMan (257229) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825597)

If you can manage to move forward more than one minute for each minute in the day I'll be impressed. I'll be even more impressed if you can find a way to prove it. ;)

Re:That's not what happened (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826295)

My watch says that it's only 23 hours 59 minutes and 52 seconds than it was at this time yesterday.

When I patent this, I'll be RICH!

Re:That's not what happened (1)

secretsquirel (805445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826369)

"If you can manage to move forward more than one minute for each minute in the day I'll be impressed. I'll be even more impressed if you can find a way to prove it. ;)"

Ok, you go for a one minute drive or something while I just sit here. ok done yet? Well if you did then in your frame of referance I just moved foward more than one minute in the minute you were driving. Oh ya i got too prove it too, hmmmm ok. e=mc^2, or some form of that anyways.

Re:That's not what happened (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825706)

Ah, but how can you be sure? I thought I'd got over adolescent reading of Dunne and Priestly until I read 'Fabric of the Cosmos' by Brian Greene who asks the real, profound, question of 'What is time?" (as opposed to: 'What do we mean by "time" ', "How did time begin" and so on.) The upshot is that thermodynamics is the only area of physics that requires time to move in a given direction. My guess is that there are a lot of questions here that are ignored by physicists and comsmologists on account of they don't want to be reduced back to the answer "Because!" :)

Re:That's not what happened (1, Funny)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825504)

What do you think the little box does?

it's the flux capacitor

Re:That's not what happened (1)

bdcrazy (817679) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825617)

Wouldn't a flux capacitor actually be an inductor?

Re:That's not what happened (1)

lgftsa (617184) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826535)

They're both imaginary.

Any excuse... (4, Funny)

Mendy (468439) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825456)

... to have the day off "visiting the Black Mesa research facility" ;)

Re:Any excuse... (3, Funny)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825742)

You go take vacation leave to play Half-Life 1 while the rest of us visit the abandoned plant in eastern Europe, fighting baddies with a crowbar.

Re:Any excuse... (2, Funny)

kko (472548) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826294)

In other news, Colin Powell resigned today. White House sources say he spent all his time talking about a "Gold edition" and a "steam cache".

How long would it really take? (-1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825473)

Kirk: Scotty, give me a repair estimate on that plane.

Scotty: My guess is 4 to 6 weeks captain.

Kirk: SCOTTY!!!!

99% success? (1, Interesting)

dadjaka (827325) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825474)

Is this like the space shuttle, where even if 99% of the components worked, the mission would still fail?

What 1% failed here?

Re:99% success? (2, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825498)

I don't think anyone is really sure what the probabilities are. The speed they are trying to achieve is too fast to simulate on the ground, so there are a lot of unknowns.

Re:99% success? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10825649)

NASA Langley has a Mach 20 wind tunnel. I used to work in the transsonic facility there, and that tunnel is basically an integral part of the building. I also worked in another building right next to the scramjet testing facility. That used to shake books off the shelf when they fired it up

Re:99% success? (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825686)

Well, my comment was based on what NASA officials said in this article [space.com] . Maybe it's something specific to this engine that makes it impossible to test there.

Re:99% success? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10825900)

That's true. You couldn't test the engine itself in that tunnel. I forget the exact size, but the test chamber is in the range of a 20 inches. They could test the aerodynamic characteristics of the vehicle itself.

Re:99% success? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#10828492)

The problem is with faster wind tunnels is that the faster you want the airflow, the lower amount of time that airflow can be reliably sustained. At mach 20, you are talking about a few seconds of airflow at a time, with big buildups inbetween.

Re:99% success? (5, Insightful)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825501)

more like a good test, where if 99% of the compenents work but 1% doesnt they dont fly until they solve that 1%. Haste is no reason for sloppiness, NASA's engineers are doing things properly here

Re:99% success? (2, Insightful)

omb (759389) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825599)

No, the reliability needed is much greater than 99%, which is just better odds at Russian Roulette,

how do you think the Civil Airline industry would work if 1 plane in 100 crashed?

There are two interesting questions here:

1: Who was responsible for this incompetance.

Where is the effective oversight?

2: When will effective competition to NASA deploy itself

Given Posting Guidelines it is hard to be pejoritive and rude enough about this totally failed organization.

Re:99% success? (5, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825901)

How, exactly, is "fixing a problem in a hand-made experimental craft, that was revealed by a well-planned and thorough inspection" considered "incompetance"? I'd call that about as good of an organizational plan as you could have for an experimental project like the X-43.

> how do you think the Civil Airline industry
> would work if 1 plane in 100 crashed?

Awful analogy. Airplanes are mass-produced, mass operated commodity machines.

Better analogy: How would people react in the middle ages if 1 ocean exploration mission out of 100 sank?

Answer: They'd cheer for their astounding success, and give proper credit where it was due, unlike you people that know almost nothing about rocketry or NASA experimentation beyond the shuttle and ISS, who never miss an opportunity to bash all that NASA has accomplished.

Re:99% success? (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 9 years ago | (#10828790)

Better analogy: How would people react in the middle ages if 1 ocean exploration mission out of 100 sank?

They'd be devastated. Despite the conditions at the time, the ships were generally quite safe, with only one or two out of a thousand actually sinking.

The same was not, of course, true for the crew. Generally speaking such ships set out with two complete crews and were lucky to come back with one. This happened in part because many would die along the way, but also because many sailors made just a single trip, choosing to live out their lives where the ship landed.

In case you are wondering why there are still so many shipwrecks - that's because those ships were mass-produced at the time, almost assembly-line style. Ship production was a significant cause of deforestation in Europe at one time...

Re:99% success? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10833533)

Are you sure that applies to *exploration* missions? When I think of exploration missions, I come to a much higher ship-loss rate. Columbus lost nine ships in his four voyages. Only one of Magellan's 5 ships made it back. Cortez lost all of his ships, although to be fair, that was deliberate to stop his men from retreating ;) Etc. Every global "exploration" expedition that I can think of from the late middle ages/early renaissance had a large ship loss rate.

Re:99% success? (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 9 years ago | (#10836556)

The figure I gave came from a replica of a ship from that era, this one [bataviawerf.nl] to be precise. It could be that it was only valid for ships in this class, i.e. trading vessels sailing between the Netherlands and Indonesia. While that was a well-known route, it was extremely long and included some significant hazards.

If you are in the neighbourhood, visiting is highly recommended, BTW...

Lies (1, Funny)

Ambient_Developer (825456) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825497)

Technical difficulty, sure.. I bet the pilot was busy getting laid or somthing. Pilots always get the women, especially when chicks know you fly a big powerful mach 10 jet!

Re:Lies (3, Funny)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825518)

Its a pilotless plane

Re:Lies (3, Funny)

wasted (94866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825545)

Its a pilotless plane

So in true slashdot-reader fashion, nobody gets laid as a result

Re:Lies (3, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825696)

So the pilot no longer gets laid, he just plays with his joystick?

unless (1)

Ambient_Developer (825456) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825714)

Unless it is entirely autonomous, it still has a pilot. I find it hard to believe though that they would put out a totally autonomous, mach 10 jet.

Re:unless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10825736)

Unless it is entirely autonomous, it still has a pilot. I find it hard to believe though that they would put out a totally autonomous, mach 10 jet.

The X-43 is entirely autonomous. It is a small, experimental prototype, whose main reason for existence is to test the new scramjet engine technology. As such, it needs no pilot, and having a pilot would add a lot of complexity and weight.

Re:unless (1)

Kehvarl (812337) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825814)

Is it entirely autonomous or is it remotely controlled but piloted? There is a difference.

and no, I'm not going to read the article.

Re:unless (1)

Simkin1 (643231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826397)

It is totally autonomous. There is not ground to research vehicle commands being sent. The sequence is pre-programmed.

NASA has been kind enough to provide numerous videos explaining the technology and what X-43A is about. Don't tell me you're too lazy to click the button on the webpage, and watch the 2 minute clip?? That would be pathetic...

Re:unless (1)

Kehvarl (812337) | more than 9 years ago | (#10830508)

Then I won't tell you, but only becuase I'm too lazy to bother.

Re:unless (2, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826219)

I find it hard to believe that there will be a man in the loop. Do you have any idea how fast bad things can happen at Mach 10?

You know that all the "pilot" does on rocket launches is not push the abort button, right?

You know what happens if you pull back too hard on the stick of a scramjet powered aircraft? You upset the shock wave system that is compressing the air, you get a normal shock wave in the throat of the engine, the drag on the aircraft increases by a MONSTROUS factor, and the engine unstarts.

"catastrophic" is one way to describe the results.

Re:unless (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#10827403)

Besides what *might* happen, I believe the craft is actually *supposed* to disentigrate as part of the test. I can't imagine it has landing gear, a parachute, or anything of the sort.

Re:unless (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10827634)

It's supposed to crash into the ocean, but I have no idea what that has to do with whether it's remotely piloted or autonomous.

Re:Lies (1, Funny)

hengist (71116) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826548)

Great, a machine gets it more than most Slashdotters.

Re:Lies (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825549)


Technical difficulty, sure.. I bet the pilot was busy getting laid or somthing. Pilots always get the women, especially when chicks know you fly a big powerful mach 10 jet!

Somehow I doubt this. The plane is only 12 feet long. That's virtually nothing compared to most planes, and you know what they say about the length of your aircraft :/

Mine goes to 11 (1)

asadodetira (664509) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826416)

You think mach 10 is fast. Well.. guess what... that's nothing. Mine goes to 11. It's one faster.

Some questions I have... (2, Insightful)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825532)

I've had some doubts about this aircraft:

1) It cheats. It uses a booster rocket to get 90% of its velocity.
2) it's smaller than a car

So.... can the thing physically scale up enough to carry fuel and a seperate mode of propultion to reach the right altitude/speed, and have enough space to carry passengars and/or payload? Or, does its design specifically rely on being small?

Re:Some questions I have... (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825576)

1) It cheats. It uses a booster rocket to get 90% of its velocity.

It also relies on another aircraft (B-52) to lift it to the required initial altitude.

Re:Some questions I have... (2, Informative)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825580)

The first supersonic aircraft were carried to test altitude by bombers as well. With any technology like this, you want to be testing just the new part; we know that ground->40,000ft->100,000ft is doable with current tech, the new bit is accelerating to mach 10 once you get there. The Bell X-1 was a flying gas tank, so is this. But an F-22 is a complete system, integrating existing technology with new advances in supersonic airframe and engine design. I expect much the same from the scramjet technology being developed on X-43.

Re:Some questions I have... (4, Informative)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825604)

the new bit is accelerating to mach 10 once you get there

Actually no. The rocket booster accelerates it to Mach 10. We've had rockets that could do that since the 60s. The new bit is maintaining that velocity with an air breathing engine.

Re:Some questions I have... (3, Interesting)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825610)

1. No kidding! Its a scramjet. Perhaps you should look up what that is and how it works.

2. Its a flying engine.

The point is to test the engine at a new, insanely fast speed to demonstrate that it can be done. It is not intended to have anything to do with passengers. Its so new, the engine has never been flown in the atmosphere at that speed.

Anything involving passengers is many years away.

Re:Some questions I have... (1)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10827113)

Anything involving passengers is many years away

does anyone honestly think the government would spend all this money to haul passengers around at mach 10? no- this technology is being developed for one thing only- missiles. it's so we can launch all our cruise missiles from the "homeland" at a moment's notice and not need carriers, foreign bases, long-range bombers, etc. so that we can wage wars on the (relatively) cheap and pull back much of the resources we've got committed on foreign soil.

i don't know for sure, but someone might be able to attest to whether or not a mach 10 missile would be better for intercepting ICBM's. (maybe catch them in launch phase?)

Re:Some questions I have... (1)

apostrophesemicolon (816454) | more than 9 years ago | (#10827443)

to add to that, I read the possible uses for this, at least for now are:

1> thrust air-to-ground missiles to target deeply buried targets (maybe like saddam's crumbling molehole.. remember $1000 toilet and $500 hammer?)

2> like others have mentioned, intercontinental ballistic interceptor.. (almost sounds as cool as CONTINUUM TRANSFUNCTIONER)

jokes aside, I know that they're testing this thing high in the sky.. but wouldnt it achieve faster speed if they fly it near sea-level, since air density is higher? anyone who has comment pls reply..

Re:Some questions I have... (5, Insightful)

nicnak (727633) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825613)

1) It cheats. It uses a booster rocket to get 90% of its velocity.

It is not a test to see how fast it can get going, but rather a test to see if it can sustain flight at a speed faster than any other air breathing vehical has ever done.

2) it's smaller than a car

It is mearly a test. If they built one full size and then threw it away in the ocean, the public would be screaming bloody hell about all the wasted money. They are trying to be as efficiant as possilbe with these tests on a limited budget.

NASA knows that if it screws up too much it's funding will be cut. I know what it's like to work under such circumstances and it makes you not take risks. That's the sadest thing is that NASA is supposed to be about pushing the limits. About discovering new things, breaking new records and now they are strugling just to stay alive.

Re:Some questions I have... (3, Interesting)

KliX (164895) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825631)

It's not 'cheating' - that type of propulsion/engine simply doesn't work until the craft's body is moving very fast indeed. Any craft wanting to use this type of engine, would require a booster before it could operate [using current technology, maybe at some point in the future, the scramjet could be hybridised with a jet within the same body, who knows].

As to the size, I assume that's because of problems with thermal dissipation - at that speed within the atmosphere, the body is going to get seriously hot. I don't think we have materials capable to handling the heat flux that'd flow through them [or of the strength required at those temperatures] for a large.. ship, but you've got to start somewhere :)

Hey, at least we know this type of engine works.

50 years down the line, this might be 75% of the form of all LEO launches.

Re:Some questions I have... (4, Informative)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825690)

Unfortunately jet engines only work up to around mach 3 and a little past. See the SR-71's engine, which is pretty much the pinnacle of what can be done.

After that, its like trying to light a match in a hurricane. Oh, and the sonic shockwaves bouncing around inside your engine tend to tear it apart too.

Scramjets don't ignite till around mach 5 though, so you need some kind of boost inbetween what a jet engine can do, and scramjet ignition.

Mechnically speaking, scramjets are very simple. They have no moving parts. Just a fuel injector and essentially a tin can with which to ignite in. Its the *shape* of that tin can though that has required decades of research. Its geometry is extremely complex and touchy.

Re:Some questions I have... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825922)

Isn't it theoretically possible to use a turbojet (or turbofan) to get up to (subsonic combustion) ramjet speed, and then use the ramjet to get up to scramjet speed? Not saying this would be the most practical way to do it, just noting that (I thought) it could be done.

Re:Some questions I have... (1)

HokieJP (741860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10829636)

I was at the pre-flight program yesterday, and they had a great chart showing the operating ranges of turbojets, ramjets, scramjets, and rockets, and comparing their specific impulses.

The answer to your question, according to that speaker, was yes.

Re:Some questions I have... (2, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825972)

> you need some kind of boost inbetween what a
> jet engine can do, and scramjet ignition

It's called a ramjet.

Of course, you can always go from zero to mach >5 in the barrel of a gigantic gun [astronautix.com] . ;) And before you say that it wouldn't work with a scramjet, you might want to think again [af.mil]

Also, when you said "a tin can", were you referring to a flameholder? Scramjets don't use flameholders; they either use hyperglolics (like silane) or just simple heat and pressure of high velocity compression for ignition (like a diesel engine). Flameholders (of which the can-type is no longer considered to be a very effective model) are generally only viable in subsonic flows.

Re:Some questions I have... (1)

tony_gardner (533494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10828162)

Actually scramjets do use flameholders, they just don't look like the flameholders from subsonic aircraft. At the most basic level, a flameholder is just a local hotspot with some fuel, which seeds the main flow with radicals to encourage and stabilise the combustion. Cavities, crossing shocks and backward facing steps are all used as flameholders in scramjets.

Re:Some questions I have... (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10831117)

Please cite a reference to a single scramjet model using a flameholder (even a simple "eddy zone"). That is contrary to fundamental scramjet design principles, which involve keeping a supersonic flow inside the engine at all points at all times. I've never read of a single model that uses even an eddy zone, so if you've found one, please cite. I've read several designs, and all utilize either hyperglolics or outright fuel/oxidizer pressure ignition.

Re:Some questions I have... (1)

tony_gardner (533494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10843680)

AIAA 93-2329
J. Prop. Power V4 N4 1993, p502
Shock Waves (DOI) 10.1007/s00193-002-0147-0
J. Spacecraft V17 N5 1980 p416-424

Amongst many, many, others. Just the sreestream has to be supersonic. After all the BL is always going to be subsonic, no matter what you do.

50 years down the line, it'll be ignored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10825856)

Using a scramjet, when you want to get to orbit, is unreasonable even if it worked like bloody magic. The orbital vehicle would need *three* propulsion systems - one to get up to scramjet speeds, and one rocket to work after you left the atmosphere. That would put conflicting constraints on the vehicle, and a humongous weight penalty to carry all those engines.

A SSTO rocket would cost less and weigh less and have fewer parts. If we ever see scramjets, they'll probably carry bombs, not people.

Re:Some questions I have... (1)

lothar97 (768215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825659)

1) It cheats. It uses a booster rocket to get 90% of its velocity.

Yes, it does. Right now, the trick is to see if a working scramjet can work. Normal jets suck in air and use that to increase the amount of combustion. Kind of like blowing on a fire. So technically it's cheating as well. There is a limitation to the velocity of air coming in. To have big fires (jets, rocket engines), you need to add more oxygen. Rockets carry their own oxygen, which can get heavy.

The scramjet gets around this, and burns at amazingly high wind speeds. Now, since they're only testing the really high velocity thing, they use a rocket to get it up to that speed. In the future, I suspect they'll make scramjets that can function on their own from takeoff.

Remember Chuck Yeager and the X-1 breaking the sound barrier? He cheated too! (carried up by a B-29 bomber)

Re:Some questions I have... (1)

WomensHealth (661860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826213)

Passengers? Payload? How about a camera and a big *ol'* lens? This thing is for imaging, you know, like a satellite, only much closer to the Earth.

Re:Some questions I have... (1)

ryanmfw (774163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826390)

It would be very impractical. There was a reason why they started using satellites instead of U-2s. It's highly impractical to have to launch something everytime you need to spy on someone, and it also tips them off to the fact that you *are* spying on them. Besides, any camera in there would melt.

X-43A design theory (4, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825634)

  • Waverider theory [aerodyn.org]
  • More Waverider theory [aerospaceweb.org]
  • My God, Hardware! [easynet.co.uk] - the experience of a Scottish Astronautics research group (I suggest reading the whole piece, the link points to the middle of the story, 'cos of the great quote!)


The NASA design is example 4 on the summary page [aerospaceweb.org] and is quoted there as having a theoretical top speed of Mach 20.


The BBC [bbc.co.uk] has some good pics and information too.

This is bad news for NASA. (-1, Troll)

Martin Marvinski (581860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825648)

Burt Rutan had a great success with the X-Prize, and NASA has a mission fail because of glitches.

This will not look good for those supporting NASA and its budget. True that the projects are different, but you'd expect that NASA would try to get it right because there is a lot riding on this. With so many NASA failures like the Shuttle, it is really looking like NASA is a waste of tax payer dollars.

Re:This is bad news for NASA. (1)

Sai Babu (827212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825707)

Mark parent as TROLL.
Delaying a mission because something needs sorting is not a failure. It's common sense. It's like you might, finding your moped tire a bit soft in the morning, delay your trip to the welfare office until you've gotten some air in it.

Re:This is bad news for NASA. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10825790)

Mark parent as FLAMEBAIT.

Re:This is bad news for NASA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10825920)

I disagree. Mission launches ALWAYS have glitches. There are always delays, due to weather, technical problems, etc. It's just difficult for man, or machine, to keep up with the immense complexity of launching some heavy chunk of metal a couple hundred miles up.

So I think this delay doesn't really have much of an impact on NASA's reputation.

Taking nothing from Burt and Company... but... (1, Insightful)

Simkin1 (643231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826453)

I don't want to take anything from Burt and his groups achievement, but ... taking the words from Simon on 'American Idull' -- "So what?". Burt used technology almost 40 years old, on a moderately novel design concept, popped the cork on his booster and stuck his nose into the lowest possible altitude, considered low earth orbit, for about 5 seconds total, and then came plummeting back to earth in a glider concept reminiscent of early shuttle designs. So what? I think that a private company with enough money should be able to achieve at the very least a low earth orbit altitude... I'm just surprised it's taken so long considering the technology available. In all honesty, NASA is yawning at their 'achievement'... put a man on the moon, land a rover on Mars... put a space station into orbit, and put people on it! Then lets get excited about Burt & Co. Personally I'm glad they did it, but put the success on the scale it deserves, and give credit to NASA for the amazing achievements that most folks never get to see. Hell... 90% of what NASA does feeds into US products in one form or other... anyone who'd like to challenge this feel free to... but first take a look sites like www.beowulf.org, or how about all the composite materials designed? There are tons of spin off products in your homes that you never knew got their origins in work done at NASA... and probably will go on living your lives never knowing about. But please, feel free to bash NASA and the work it does in the same ignorant fashion. I'm not going to bother modding what you wrote as troll... it would be a waste of mod points when there are so many interesting commentaries out there.

Re:Taking nothing from Burt and Company... but... (1)

carcass (115042) | more than 9 years ago | (#10836006)

Hey, not to take anything away from NASA and company, but...

NASA's been running around in little circles since 1980. While their robotic program has had some stunning successes, up til now, they have done very little to advance the presence of humans in space. That's what makes the private space industry compelling--they're working to get everyone into space for relatively little money, not just those who can pay $20M to Russia or complete the decades of training (including postgraduate degrees or military service) necessary to become a professional astronaut.

Maybe with the new exploration initiative we can get NASA out of LEO (except as a staging area for deeper destinations) and free it up for some private competition.

Wussies (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825653)

So what if they would have spun for a few seconds before taking off.

Design by committee. Gauranteed to fail on their flagship product, but always careful with their experimental stuff.

I thought TFA said... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10825663)

...technical glitches...and...Windows...and thought, "Oh, well, that explains it."

Re:I thought TFA said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10826264)

I just fucking knew that some moron would manage to make this a MS issue--thanks for not disappointing me.

It must totally suck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10826803)

...discovering just how much of a waste of time and money that MCSE is. Welcome to your $14,000 tier-1 support role, and get used to it...you have noplace else to go. Except, of course, when they outsource it to some guy in Bangalore named Raj.

not enough time in the launch window? (4, Funny)

chochos (700687) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825752)

not enough time remained in the launch window

We've all heard about the short uptime of Windows, but this is ridiculous.

Area 51 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10825764)

The military and NASA cooperate on many areas of technology. A full scale test craft may already be flying out of Area 51. Certainly hypersonic technology is developed there.

eh.. (1)

thanew (829267) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825800)

when was the last time a nasa mission was on time?

Re:eh.. (1)

shadowsurfr1 (746027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826267)

who knows.

Not the one I want to hear about (2, Funny)

kettch (40676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10825838)

Where's the X-303 [gateworld.net] ?

I watch too much TV :D

Instrumentation (3, Funny)

marko123 (131635) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826327)

The speedometer only went up to Mach 8

Mine goes to 11! (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 9 years ago | (#10827876)

See there, on the dial. Not 10, 11!

Re:Instrumentation (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 9 years ago | (#10829862)

They want one that will go up to 11

Is this the long fabled "Aurora"? (2, Informative)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826335)

It looks very similar to the artists conceptual pictures of the Aurora [firstscience.com] I have seen over the years.

Collector's Item will be available in the Pacific! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10826488)

Quoting the last lines of TFA:

After a few seconds of jet operation, the final X-43A will enter into a glide, traveling about 850 miles before splashing down into the ocean, NASA said. The agency has no plans to recover the craft, which has been standard procedure with the scramjet tests.

Let's go boating out there tomorrow, we can pick up The Fastest Airplane In The World, abandoned by its previous owner!

better than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10826491)

Launching a monkey out of a cannon, to avoid technical glitches.

Which would you prefer? (1)

Simkin1 (643231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10826500)

Would you prefer that after investing 230 million on a research vehicle, booster, ground crews, engineers, scientists, studies, etc. etc. etc.... would you prefer that NASA hurry the project up and launch a vehicle that wasn't 100% functional? I support NASA's decision to scrub for the day, and I look forward to watching the news tomorrow and see how the Mach 10 flight went. Good job NASA!

launch window? (2, Funny)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10827824)

What launch window? Can B52's only fly 9 to 5 now? Does the autonomous drone punch a time clock and go home? Are they scared of bumping into all the other mach 10 aircraft wizzing around at 100,000 feet? wtf?

Re:launch window? (1)

Simkin1 (643231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10828771)

I'll admit, I laughed at your comment. Actually though the FCC clears the flight range over the Pacific from all commercial aircraft, and I believe boats in the area are warned to leave. If you can't make the window of time the FCC has cleared the airspace then you technically have missed your window. Flying without cleared airspace would endanger folks on the airlines in the area.

Re:launch window? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10830487)

FAA you mean? Got FCC on the brain now that they've filed to control your computer? LOL
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