NASA today convened a board to determine the cause of
Saturday’s loss of the first X-43A unpiloted hypersonic research

Gathering at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards CA,
the board consists of members from other agency centers,

– Robert Hughes, chairman, Marshall Space Flight Center,
Huntsville, AL

– John J. Deily, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

– Joseph J. Lackovich Jr., Kennedy Space Center, FL

– Victoria A. Regenie, Dryden Flight Research Center

– Luat T. Nguyen, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

The mated X-43A and its booster rocket went out of control about
eight seconds after ignition of the Pegasus motor during the
June 2 launch over the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.
The booster was intentionally destroyed using onboard flight-
termination explosives, and fell safely in a cleared Navy sea
range. There were no injuries and no damage to other aircraft or

This mission was the first of three flights to demonstrate an
airframe-integrated, “air-breathing” propulsion system design,
called a scramjet, which so far has only been tested in ground
facilities, such as wind tunnels.