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NASA to Soon Start Testing ‘quiet’ Supersonic Flights over Texas

NASA recently awarded Lockheed Martin a $247.5 million contract to build the highly anticipated aircraft

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NASA, Hubble, Keplar, asteroids
Nasa's Opportunity rover might have 'died' on Mars. Flickr

NASA has announced of testing “quiet” supersonic flights over Texas that could revolutionise air travel.

The space agency said on Tuesday that it will publicly demonstrate its technology near the coastal resort city of Galveston to ensure that its prototype really will be barely audible when it crosses the sound barrier, reports CNN.

If NASA’s experimental project — formerly known as the X-plane or “Low-Flight Flight Demonstrator” but recently renamed X-59 QueSST — works, it should help make supersonic flight more economical.

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From November, the US space agency will use supersonic F/A-18 Hornet jets over Galveston to mimic the sonic profile of the X-59 while a group of around 500 residents document the noise levels.

By performing dives at the speed of sound, the jets will produce two types of sonic boom in order to truly determine the sound they produce on the ground.

According to NASA, Galveston was chosen as the testing area as it is located near the Gulf of Mexico, allowing the fighter jets keep louder sonic booms out to sea, while hurling quieter sonic “thumps” into the city.

NASA recently awarded Lockheed Martin a $247.5 million contract to build the highly anticipated aircraft. (IANS)

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Trump Increases NASA Spending by $1.6 Billion With Goal of Returning to Moon

"I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!"

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NASA
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine talks to employees about the agency's progress toward sending astronauts to the moon and on to Mars during a televised event, Monday, March 11, 2019. VOA

The Trump administration asked Congress on Monday to increase NASA spending next year by an extra $1.6 billion to accommodate the accelerated goal of returning Americans to the surface of the moon by 2024.

The increased funding request, announced by President Donald Trump on Twitter, comes nearly two months after Vice President Mike Pence declared the objective of shortening by four years NASA’s timeline for putting astronauts back on the moon for the first time since 1972.

The proposed increase would bring NASA’s total spending level for the 2020 fiscal year to $22.6 billion. The bulk of the increase is earmarked for research and development for a human lunar landing system, according to a summary provided by NASA.

NASA
“I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!”, says Trump. Pixabay

“Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars,” Trump tweeted late on Monday. “I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!” NASA had previously aimed to return crewed spacecraft to the lunar surface by the year 2028, after first putting a “Gateway” station into orbit around the moon by 2024.

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The newly accelerated goal – an endeavor likely to cost tens of billions of dollars – comes as NASA has struggled with the help of private partners to resume human space missions from U.S. soil for the first time since the shuttle program ended in 2011.

The U.S. Apollo program, NASA’s forerunner to the effort at returning humans to Earth’s natural satellite, tallied six manned missions to the moon from 1969 to 1972. So far, only two other nations have conducted controlled “soft” landings on the moon – the former Soviet Union and China. But those were with unmanned robot vehicles. (VOA)