NASA's new scramjet flies 10 times faster than sound speed

NASA's new X-43A "scramjet" develops the speed of 11 260km/h for 10 or 11 seconds.

In March, &to=' target=_blank>Nasa launched an experimental jet that reached a record-setting speed of about 8 050km/h. Now researchers want to leave that milestone in the dust.

Nasa's third and last X-43A "scramjet" was set to streak over the Pacific Ocean on Monday at 11 260km/h for 10 or 11 seconds - or 10 times the speed of sound.

The first X-43A flight failed in June 2001 when the &to=' target=_blank>booster rocket used to accelerate it to flight speed veered off course and had to be destroyed, reports Independent Online.

According to BBC, scramjets could be used to carry a spacecraft high into the atmosphere, after which a rocket would take over to propel the payload into space.

"We can't replace rockets, but we could use air from the atmosphere for two-thirds of the trip. That might give us the ability to carry bigger payloads for the same amount of money," Sitz added.

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