UPDATED November 21, 2004 NASA's X-43A research vehicle screamed into the record books again, demonstrating an air-breathing engine can fly at nearly 10 times the speed of sound. Preliminary data from the scramjet-powered research vehicle show its revolutionary engine worked successfully at nearly Mach 9.8, or 7,000 mph, as it flew at about 110,000 feet. The November 16 flight took place in restricted airspace over the Pacific Ocean northwest of Los Angeles. The flight was the last and fastest of three unpiloted tests in NASA's Hyper-X Program. The program's purpose was to explore an alternative to rocket power for space access vehicles.
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