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 LAS CRUCES, N.M., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The next test flight of the Delta Clipper Experimental (DC-X) rocket is scheduled Thursday, Sept. 30, at White Sands Missile Range here.
 Developed by McDonnell Douglas for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) Single Stage Rocket Technology Program, the 42-foot high DC-X is an experimental single-stage, vertical takeoff and landing vehicle which has had highly successful hover and flight tests so far.
 The DC-X is the first rocket vehicle to take off and land in a single stage, without shedding boosters or using a parachute to return to earth.
 Thursday's test will be the second in a series of sub-orbital flights that will verify vertical takeoff and landing; demonstrate subsonic maneuverability; validate "airplane-like" supportability and maintainability; and demonstrate the rapid prototyping development approach.
 The tests will become progressively more complex until the DC-X reaches its objective of flying to about 16,000 feet, returning nose down to 10,000 feet, then pitching over and landing upright.
 The flight on Thursday will expose the DC-X to dynamic pressures five times those of the previous flight. When the vehicle reaches 1,200 feet, it will hover and move laterally 350 feet in a straight line to a point over its 100-by-100-foot landing pad. The vehicle then will descend vertically, using the variable throttling capability of its four Pratt & Whitney RL10A-5 rocket engines, onto the pad. The entire flight is expected to last approximately 100 seconds.
 "We want to expand the DC-X's flight envelope prudently but be aggressive about the kinds of dynamic pressures it will be exposed to as we make our way through the suborbital flight test series," said Paul Klevatt, McDonnell Douglas' DC-X program manager.
 The DC-X is scheduled to be flight-tested again in mid-October in a three-day set of back-to-back launches that will push the envelope further and demonstrate the vehicle's turnaround capability.
 Subcontractors on the SSRT program include: Douglas Aircraft Co., Long Beach, Calif.; McDonnell Douglas Aerospace-East and McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories, St. Louis; Aerojet Propulsion Division, Sacramento, Calif.; Allied Signal Aerospace Co., Torrance, Calif.; Chicago Bridge and Iron Services Inc., Oak Brook, Ill.; Deutsche Aerospace, Munich, Germany; General Connector, San Fernando, Calif.; Harris Corp., Rockledge, Fla.; Honeywell, Clearwater, Fla.; Integrated Systems, Santa Clara, Calif.; Martin Marietta, Denver; Pratt & Whitney Government Engines and Space Division, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Process Fabrication Inc., Santa Fe Springs, Calif.; Scaled Composites, Mojave, Calif.; and SpaceGuild, San Carlos, Calif.
 -0- 9/29/93
 /CONTACT: Tom Williams or Evelyn Smith, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 714-896-1300 or 714-896-1700/

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

JB-LS -- LA025 -- 6954 09/29/93 16:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 29, 1993

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