We run a significant number of space related stories here at Geeky Gadgets every month and for good reason: it’s the final frontier, right? Below is a story about NASA’s latest scramble for a working piece of equipment at a time when the agency isn’t as endowed with generous funding compared to previous administrations.
If you’ve been scrutinizing the pic above, rest assured those aren’t the Autobots racing down a desert highway to battle the evil Decepticons. Nuh-uh, it’s just a plain harmless convoy heading to the Mojave desert to unload its flying cargo according to NASA’s wishes.
The two X-34s being trucked are pioneer robot aircraft developed throughout the 90s and successfully tested ten years ago, then zip. Nada. They were left in an Air Force hangar, from where they got moved to a bombing range until the present. So why are they being dusted off and brought back to NASA? Basically a lack of options: NASA badly needs a viable (and cheap) spacecraft for whatever future missions it has in mind.
Said missions could be in sync with the growing space tourism industry which calls for light, compact aircraft that can re-enter the atmosphere without a hitch. If NASA plans on commercializing this hunk of barely used equipment, then godspeed to them. Let’s hope a decade of disuse hasn’t reduced the X34’s performance capabilities.
Since this article is about fast high altitude aircraft, is anyone thinking of Kenny Loggins’ “Dangerzone” from the Top Gun soundtrack?
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