Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

October 28, 1995

The Delta Clipper
Credit: NASA, RLV Technology Program.

Explanation: The Delta Clipper experimental rocket or DC-X is intended as a development vehicle to pave the way for a reusable single stage to orbit rocket. Shown here, in an artists conception, it has made several successful test flights since its maiden voyage in August of 1993 - taking off like a rocket, hovering and moving horizontally, and landing tail first on a designated landing pad. The DC-X is actually too heavy and underpowered to achieve orbit, but as part of NASA's Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Program, lessons learned operating the DC-X may help provide science and industry cheaper access to space.

Tomorrow's picture: Radioactive Clouds in the Milky Way

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.