Author Topic: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body  (Read 9882 times)

Offline Blackstar

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PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« on: 11/06/2014 10:03 PM »
I was scanning these for somebody and thought I would include them there. Official history of the X-23 PRIME lifting body. I've got some other interesting stuff too.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #1 on: 11/06/2014 10:03 PM »
Some more PRIME documents.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #2 on: 11/06/2014 10:04 PM »
The flight test summary of the final PRIME flight. They built four vehicles, had three successful test flights and ended the program there. The fourth, unflown, vehicle is in the Air Force Museum in Dayton. There's also a flown PRIME vehicle there, but I don't know which one.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #3 on: 11/06/2014 10:06 PM »
Some more PRIME materials.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #4 on: 11/06/2014 10:06 PM »
PRIME Familiarization Manual.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #5 on: 11/06/2014 10:07 PM »
Some materials on ASSET, which was contemporaneous with PRIME. It was also an experimental hypersonic reentry vehicle.

Offline archipeppe68

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #6 on: 11/10/2014 08:29 AM »
Thanks a lot for all those PRIME/ASSET stuff, I really do appreciated them.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #7 on: 11/10/2014 02:28 PM »
Martin Company had a quite a decade, with the Titan missiles and orbital launchers, with Pershing (perhaps the best long range land based ballistic missile the U.S. ever fielded), with the very early "smart bombs" like Walleye, and with X-23/X-24, among other things.  This company did some solid engineering.

First time I've seen plans for an orbital version of PRIME.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/10/2014 02:33 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Antilope7724

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #8 on: 12/21/2015 07:19 AM »
PRIME X-23 Lifting Body Prototype Arrival , Unloading, Atlas Mating and Launch.
From Vandenberg AFB, 21 December 1966 - 11 minute video - San Diego Air and Space Museum



Film from the Atlas Centaur Heritage Film Collection which was donated to the San Diego Air and Space Museum by Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance. The Collection contains 3,000 reels of 16-millimeter film.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2015 09:14 AM by Antilope7724 »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #9 on: 02/09/2016 01:39 PM »
With Dream Chaser getting selected for CRS-2, giving this great thread a bump to demonstrate her lifting body ancestry...
« Last Edit: 02/09/2016 10:14 PM by Rocket Science »
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Offline Arch Admiral

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #10 on: 02/16/2016 08:04 AM »
A common myth about X-23 PRIME is that it had the same shape as the manned X-24 (USAF Flight Dynamics Lab SV-5). Actually it had a large ramp added between the vertical fins to make the SV-5 shape stable during the hypersonic part of reentry, similar to the ramp on X-20 Dyna-Soar. Unfortunately the ramp reduced stability at transonic and subsonic speeds. The X-23 flight vehicles deployed a ballute well above Mach 1 to keep them from tumbling.

The myth persists because the recovered X-23 #3 was incorrectly restored for display at the Air Force Museum. Photos in Jay Miller's book THE X-PLANES clearly show #3 with the ramp after recovery and without it after it was cleaned up at Dayton. They also puttied up the severe damage to the ablative heat shield.

The promoters of the X-38 claimed that X-23 and X-24 between them had proven the SV-5 shape at all Mach numbers, so they could use it without any expensive wind tunnel and flight tests. I don't know if they really believed the myth or were just low-balling the cost to lure NASA into funding the program. In reality they designed two completely new shapes for X-38 and put them through an interminable series of B-52 drop tests that tripled the cost of the program by the time it was cancelled.


Offline GClark

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #11 on: 02/16/2016 09:30 AM »
The promoters of the X-38 claimed that X-23 and X-24 between them had proven the SV-5 shape at all Mach numbers, so they could use it without any expensive wind tunnel and flight tests. I don't know if they really believed the myth or were just low-balling the cost to lure NASA into funding the program. In reality they designed two completely new shapes for X-38 and put them through an interminable series of B-52 drop tests that tripled the cost of the program by the time it was cancelled.

That's an interesting assertion, seeing as Wayne Hale has stated on his blog that it was the one part of the US segment of ISS that was coming in under budget.

Also, I'm not sure 7 flights is "interminable."

Offline JAFO

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #12 on: 11/08/2017 12:43 AM »
Bump for the Dream Chaser ALT-2 test.
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Offline Star One

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #13 on: 03/06/2018 09:40 AM »
Another informative space history article from Mr Day.

Quote
On April 19, 1967, a spacecraft that looked somewhat like a fat, winged dart reentered the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. As it dipped into the upper reaches of the ionosphere it began to glow and was surrounded by a fiery plasma. But rather than traveling in a straight line as most reentering spacecraft did, the glowing craft began banking at hypersonic speeds, finally slowing and deploying a parachute at a point more than 1,100 kilometers off its orbital path. A JC-130 aircraft grabbed its parachute lines high above the Pacific and the crew winched it inside. The experimental spacecraft, known as the X-23 PRIME, was not a classified project. According to the US Air Force, it was intended to test the ability of a spacecraft to travel crossrange from its entry orbit, something that many years later would be incorporated into the design of NASA’s space shuttle.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3446/1

Offline Fequalsma

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #14 on: 03/06/2018 11:40 AM »
More info on PRIME and ASSET here:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36029.0

Blackstar, I'm always impressed by your work.
F=ma

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #15 on: 03/06/2018 02:39 PM »
Movements of fire and shadow: The X-23 PRIME reentry vehicle and American satellite reconnaissance

Another well-written, informative space history article.  Thank you, Dwayne!

Another Babylon 5 episode reference.  Thank you, Dwayne!  (Season 5, episode 17) 8)
***

I suggested a thread-merge with the X-23 PRIME thread referenced above via report-to-mod.
« Last Edit: 03/06/2018 02:42 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #16 on: 03/06/2018 03:48 PM »
Nice work Dwayne! 8)
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Offline Archibald

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #17 on: 03/06/2018 08:26 PM »
Just a question. Since Kodak was in Rochester, N.Y, and since the objective was to get the pictures as fast as possible, I suppose that the lifting body would have landed at a military base close from Rochester ?

It sounds logical, in order to minimize transit time by road or by air, plus I suppose the NRO would be quite nervous about USSR very high-res picture travelling across the U.S countryside, even under cover.

So I wonder, was there an Air Force base near Rochester where the lifting body could have quietly and discretely landed ?

just asking...
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #18 on: 03/06/2018 09:00 PM »
Some materials on ASSET, which was contemporaneous with PRIME. It was also an experimental hypersonic reentry vehicle.
Both come up in TA Heppenheimers history of hypersonics.

I think ASSET was the more interesting from the TPS PoV, with what looks like (essentially) the only real attempt to fly the X30 Dyna Soar shape and the various interesting materials used.
A nose tip with a 3' radius made in ZrO and a 2" leading edge in Graphite (is that basically RCC?) Very impressive. As well as the Niobium and Molydbum alloys used.
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Offline Sam Ho

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Re: PRIME X-23 Lifting Body
« Reply #19 on: 03/06/2018 09:35 PM »
Just a question. Since Kodak was in Rochester, N.Y, and since the objective was to get the pictures as fast as possible, I suppose that the lifting body would have landed at a military base close from Rochester ?

It sounds logical, in order to minimize transit time by road or by air, plus I suppose the NRO would be quite nervous about USSR very high-res picture travelling across the U.S countryside, even under cover.

So I wonder, was there an Air Force base near Rochester where the lifting body could have quietly and discretely landed ?

just asking...
Griffiss AFB was a SAC base near Rome, NY in that timeframe.  However, I doubt there would be enough cross-range capability to reenter over water and land in the Eastern US.  I would guess reentry over the Pacific, landing at Edwards AFB, and then flying the film to Rochester would be more likely.

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