NASA is monitoring how residents near the Texas Gulf Coast react to quiet sonic booms from an experimental aircraft that could reduce commercial flight times by half.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the space agency on Monday launched a two-week research project on quiet supersonic research flights near Galveston. NASA is flying jets in a unique maneuver over the Gulf of Mexico to assess the community’s response to the noise.
NASA officials are hoping the Galveston tests will help perfect supersonic flight, which has been an elusive goal for the agency.
Decades ago, NASA tested the Concorde, which could cross the Atlantic in just over three hours by traveling twice the speed of sound. But federal aviation officials banned the aircraft after residents complained about the plane’s sonic boom. (VOA)
NASA is inviting applications from start-ups to take part in a three-month pilot programme to develop new technologies for space.
Applications will be accepted till April 7 and a total of 10 companies will be selected for the programme, the US space agency said.
The accelerator programme will focus on technologies that can be applied to space — including geospatial analytics, digital design coupled to advanced manufacturing, autonomous systems, applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
“We want to assist these companies in developing their own technologies and becoming commercial successes. NASA will also benefit by collaborating with these companies,” said Tom Cwik, Manager of the Space Technology Office at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
Based in Los Angeles, the accelerator programme begins on July 15. After developing their concepts and business plans over a three-month period, the teams will then pitch their results to the NASA community, co-sponsors and private investors at a demo day in October, NASA said.