Feeds

X-51 hypersonic scramjet flight delayed by errant freighter

Lucky escape for wandering mariners

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The X-51A Waverider scramjet test scheduled for yesterday has been delayed for 24 hours by a freighter wandering into the Pacific firing range where the trial flight is to take place.

According to a statement issued by US spokesmen at Edwards airforce base - where the X-51's launch aircraft, a modified B-52 bomber operated by NASA, is based - the test required clear seas across the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range several hundred miles off the Californian coast.

The statement goes on:

A US Navy P-3 Orion aircraft supporting the test was safety scanning the Pacific Ocean test range for shipping traffic shortly after 9 am Pacific time when its crew discovered a ship steaming in international waters underneath a block of restricted airspace located in the vicinity of the X-51A's potential splashdown zone.

Weather permitting, the X-51A will make its first hypersonic flight attempt May 26.

Planned firings and tests are notified to mariners through a warning system which professional seafarers pay attention to, but there are lots of unprofessional seafarers plying the oceans of the world: and ultimately the US government can't force ships to keep clear of range areas like Point Mugu located in international waters. Hence the test postponement.

The X-51A, if successful, will be the first scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) to operate successfully outside the wind tunnel on hydrocarbon fuel - as opposed to troublesome hydrogen. Its technology could revolutionise high-speed missiles, and in the longer term lead to hypersonic aircraft and fully re-usable spaceplanes. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.