April 16, 1997: Air Force Flight Test Center Established the Access to Space Office

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

The Air Force Flight Test Center established the Access to Space Office in order to support the Air Force’s effort to integrate its air and space mission..

The  first  of  these   was  the  creation  of   an  Access  to   Space  Office, consistent with the Air  Force's move toward integrating air and space missions.  The nation's   burgeoning  space program, coupled with the imminence  the  X-33  program prompted  the  move  which  was,  after  all,  fully in keeping  with  the Flight  Test  Center's  
long  involvement  with  space-related programs.  The  X-33,  Lockheed  Martin's  one-half  scale test vehicle of the next-generation  Reusable  Launch  Vehicle   (RLV),  was  only  the largest  in  a series  of  ongoing  or upcoming  air  and space-related  programs: the  X-34  air­ launched  hypersonic  spaceplane,  the  X-38  Space  Recovery  Vehicle,  and  the Hyper-X   Ramjet/Scramjet   vehicle,   among   others.     The   AFFTC   became   a working partner  in the  X-33  program  with the decision  to  locate the  futuristic RLV's  launch  complex   on  the   Edwards   Test   Range.   The  groundbreaking ceremony  for  the  X-33  launch  complex,  which  
was  to  occupy  25  acres  of land near  Haystack  Butte, took place on  14  November  1997.

News Search