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NASA Scramjet Sets a New Air-Speed Record

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NASA Scramjet Sets a New Air-Speed Record

Space

NASA Scramjet Sets a New Air-Speed Record

NASA Scramjet Sets a New Air-Speed Record

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4174090/4174431" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The booster rocket ignites, beginning the X-43A's record-setting flight. NASA photo hide caption

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NASA photo

Mission schematic of the X-43A NASA graphic hide caption

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Mission schematic of the X-43A

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A NASA research jet sets a new air speed record for air-breathing engines by traveling nearly 7,000 mph, or 10 times the speed of sound. The space agency's X-43A "scramjet" flew over the Pacific Ocean at 110,000 feet after being taken aloft under the wing of a B-52B bomber.

After its release from beneath the larger craft's wing, a booster rocket ignited, sending the X-43A on its way. NPR's David Kestenbaum reports.