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Gallery: Artifacts of the DC-X Reusable Rocket Prototype

DC-X Fixed in Space History

New Mexico Museum of Space History

Twenty years after it made its first flight, the Delta Clipper Experimental, or DC-X, is getting its day in a museum. An exhibit on the reusable rocket prototype called DC-X SpaceQuest is being prepared at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo. This photo montage shows how the DC-X reusable rocket prototype launched and landed vertically during trials in 1993.

DC-1

Megan Gannon/SPACE.com

This model shows what a production version of the Delta Clipper (known as DC-1) would have looked like. It was on display inside the hangar of Spaceport America during the 20th anniversary celebrations of DC-X, next to a piece of the rocket prototype's landing gear.

Rocket Engine

Megan Gannon/SPACE.com

DC-XA, an advanced version of the vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, was largely destroyed when it toppled over and exploded during its last flight in 1996. But the museum has salvaged many components, including one of the original RL10 engines, shown here.

Landing Gear

Megan Gannon/SPACE.com

The DC-XA's downfall was blamed on a landing leg that failed to deploy during its last flight, causing it to crash and burn. This landing strut was a reserve unit.

Thrust Structure

Megan Gannon/SPACE.com

DC-XA's thrust structure, with part of the liquid hydrogen tank still attached at the top, will also on be display in New Mexico.

DC-X Reunion

Megan Gannon/SPACE.com

Bill Gaubatz, the McDonnell-Douglas DC-X program manager, stands in front of the thrust structure of the rocket prototype on Aug. 17, 2013. The team was gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the vehicle's first test flight.

First Test Flight of the Delta Clipper-Experimental Advanced (DC-XA)

NASA

The Delta Clipper-Experimental Advanced (DC-XA) made its first successful test fight at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

DC-X's Temporary Home

Megan Gannon/SPACE.com

For now, many of the DC-X components are being housed in the museum's Daisy Track Building.

New Mexico Museum of Space History

Megan Gannon/SPACE.com

Some of the parts of DC-X are slated to go inside the museum's main facility after a series of renovations.

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