Dryden Flight Research Center
P.O. Box 273
Edwards, California 93523
AC 661-258-3449
FAX 661-258-3566

Fred A. Brown
Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA
(Phone: 805/258-2663)

NOTE TO EDITORS: N99-7

FIRST FLIGHT TEST OF SECOND X-38 CREW RETURN VEHICLE MOVED TO FRIDAY

The flight test of the second X-38 Crew Return Vehicle prototype originally planned for Thursday, March 4, at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., has been rescheduled for Friday, March 5. The flight test of the atmospheric test vehicle, designated vehicle 132, will be open to the media and broadcast live on NASA-TV, beginning at approximately 7:45 a.m. PST.

The X-38 is an innovative new spacecraft design planned for use as a future International Space Station emergency crew return "lifeboat." It will be released from NASA's B-52 at approximately 30,000 feet and will fly freely for about 12 seconds before parafoils are deployed that will guide it to its landing point.

Once operational, the X-38 may become the first new human spacecraft to travel to and from orbit in more than 20 years. It is being developed at a fraction of the cost of past human space vehicles. The primary purpose of the spacecraft would be as a "lifeboat," but the design also has the potential to be easily modified for other uses, such as a possible joint U.S. and international human spacecraft that could be launched on the Ariane 5 booster.

Media wishing to cover this event will be able to view the drop test from a control room and participate in a post-test news conference at 10 a.m. Media planning to view the flight test should arrive at the Dryden Public Affairs Office Building 4839 no later than 6:30 a.m. Media wanting to attend the news conference should arrive no later than 9:30 a.m. To request accreditation please send a letter by Fax to Fred Brown at (661) 258-3566. For more information call Fred Brown at (661) 258-2663.

NASA-TV is on GE-2, transponder 9C, located at 85 degrees West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency will be on 3880 megahertz with audio on 6.8 megahertz.

-NASA-