- Composite Primary and Secondary Airframe Structures
A composite airframe including primary structure, aerosurfaces, and thrust structures. The
high-margin structure is designed to require minimal inspection, with modular design and
numerous access ports for maintainability.
- Composite Reusable Propellant Tanks, Cryogenic Insulation, and Propulsion System
- Advanced Thermal Protection Systems and Materials
Low-cost low-weight thermal protection systems and materials on the leading edges and
other critical heating areas and over the large surfaces subjected to lower heating. The
new ceramic thermal protection systems are far less expensive than either the current
Shuttle ceramics or an advanced metallic system.
- Low-cost Avionics Including Differential GPS Integrated GPS / INS
Low-cost flight proven avionics including differential GPS and integrated GPS/INS. The
X-34 and the RLVs will depend heavily on automatic navigation, guidance, and control for
autonomous landing, so it becomes important to demonstrate that performance, simple
checkout and testing, and operational cost objectives can be met.
- Integrated Vehicle Health Monitoring System
Integrated vehicle health monitoring system which, together with rapid software
reprogramming, will make possible the quick turnaround which is a major demonstration
- Flush Air Data System
Flush air data system, a concept proven in early Shuttle experiments to be a valuable tool
in hypersonic flight testing.
- Provide Platform for Demonstration of "Added On" or Additional Experiments
As of March 1, 2001, the x-33 project as well as the x-34 project were discontinued by
NASA. See the following
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