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White Knight Prepares For New Mission

Published by Rob on Fri May 27, 2005 10:15 pm
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By Leonard David Senior Space Writer space.com

The innovative carrier plane used to air launch SpaceShipOne has a new mission. At the Mojave, California inland spaceport, the White Knight mothership has been involved in fit and high-speed taxi checks with a new passenger – the X-37, an unpiloted, reusable spaceplane.

The White Knight/X-37 combination has undergone a set of recent ground evaluations, including high-speed taxi testing this week.

Designed by Scaled Composites of Mojave, California, the White Knight was utilized to haul SpaceShipOne to altitude and then released the piloted rocketplane for its record-setting suborbital treks, including the snagging of the high-stakes $10 million Ansari X Prize last year.

In its new role, the White Knight is being readied to carry the Boeing, Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA-supported vehicle skyward. No official word yet on when the twosome will take to the air, or what is the timeframe for the first drop test of the X-37 using the White Knight.

Read more at space.com

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