NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
X-34 aircraft resting on the ground. This unpiloted aircraft was designed to test various technologies for use in a reusable launch vehicle (RLV). Such a craft would greatly reduce the cost of launching payloads into orbit. Equipped with a NASA-built oxygen and kerosene Fastrac engine, the X-34 was designed to reach an altitude of about 75km and a speed of Mach 8, eight times the speed of sound. X-34 was built for NASA by Orbital Sciences Corporation, Virginia, USA. The project was cancelled in March 2001.
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