The NASA Mishap Investigation Board analyzing the June 2,
2001, X-43A mission loss is continuing to meet at NASA’s Langley
Research Center in Hampton, Va., where a model of the X-43A combined
vehicle is undergoing wind tunnel testing. The board plans to
remain at Langley throughout the completion of wind tunnel testing
and data analysis.

The X-43A is intended to be the first scramjet-powered vehicle,
capable of attaining speeds as high as Mach 10. The X-43A mission,
first in a series of three, was lost moments after the X-43A and its
launch vehicle were released from the wing of the B-52 carrier
aircraft. Following booster ignition, the X-43A and its launch
vehicle stack experienced structural failure, deviated from its
flight path, and its flight was deliberately terminated.

The board continues to believe that a single root cause for the X-43A
mishap is unlikely. The Board Chairman, Robert Hughes of the Marshall
Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., said that the investigation
team has put in place many of the pieces to understand the mishap. He
stated that the investigation activities needed to complete the
investigation are linked to the data being developed from wind tunnel
and mechanical testing. Analyses using these data will provide the
final answers.

Langley leads the X-43A program, with flight operations
conducted by Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. The
vehicle contractor team, led by MicroCraft in Tullahoma, Tenn.,
includes The Boeing Co., Seal Beach, Calif.; and GASL, Inc.,
Ronkonkoma, N.Y. The booster is a modified Pegasus launch vehicle
provided by Orbital Sciences Corp., Chandler, Ariz.

Members of the Mishap Investigation Team include NASA representatives
from Dryden, Langley, Marshall, Goddard Space Flight Center,
Maryland, and Kennedy Space Flight Center, Florida, plus contractor