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NASA Scramjet Sets a New Air-Speed Record

A NASA research jet sets a new air speed record for air-breathing engines by traveling nearly 7,000 mph, or 10 times the speed of sound. The space agency's X-43A "scramjet" flew over the Pacific Ocean at 110,000 feet after being taken aloft under the wing of a B-52B bomber.

After its release from beneath the larger craft's wing, a booster rocket ignited, sending the X-43A on its way. NPR's David Kestenbaum reports.

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David Kestenbaum is a correspondent for NPR, covering science, energy issues and, most recently, the global economy for NPR's multimedia project Planet Money. David has been a science correspondent for NPR since 1999. He came to journalism the usual way — by getting a Ph.D. in physics first.