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DC-X HOT FIRE STATIC TEST A SUCCESS

 LAS CRUCES, N.M., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 28 McDonnell Douglas Aerospace successfully conducted a hot fire static test of the Delta Clipper-Experimental (DC-X), an experimental single-stage launch vehicle.
 Developed for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) single-stage rocket technology (SSRT) program, the DC-X is undergoing a testing program designed to demonstrate the feasibility of building and operating single-stage-to-orbit rockets.
 Conducted at the NASA White Sands Test Facility, Friday's test gathered total vehicle system data from the simultaneous firing of the DC-X's four Pratt and Whitney RL-10A5 liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen rocket engines.
 "Preliminary post-test analyses indicated that the vehicle's system including software, avionics and engines performed to our expectations," said Paul Klevatt, McDonnell Douglas DC-X program manager. "Our test objective was to fire the engines for approximately eight seconds -- four seconds start up and ramp up to 30 percent thrust, and hold steady for 4.25 seconds at 65 percent thrust.
 "Our total run time was 8.25 seconds. We met all pre-test goals by holding at 65 percent thrust for 4.56 seconds. By being in a steady-state condition for that length of time we were able to get our total set of required vehicle data, as well as information on acoustics and temperature."
 Prior to Friday's test McDonnell Douglas conducted three static tests, one on May 20 and two on May 27. The purpose of these tests was to fine-tune engine operating parameters and tolerances. On the three tests all four engines successfully ignited, with runs lasting approximately 3.5 seconds.
 "We actually learned more on these three trials than was anticipated, especially how easy it is to turn the vehicle around," said Pete Conrad, DC-X flight manager. "It's almost unheard of to conduct two static tests of a cryogenic rocket in one day."
 Following the static ground tests, the vehicle will be moved to the White Sands Missile Range, N.M., for actual flight tests.
 -0- 6/1/93
 /CONTACT: Sheila Carter-Hart or Evelyn Smith of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 714-896-1302 or 714-896-1700/
 (MD)


CO: McDonnell Douglas Aerospace ST: New Mexico IN: ARO SU:

JL -- LA024 -- 4071 06/01/93 15:28 EDT
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Date:Jun 1, 1993
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