Nasa building supersonic plane that goes as fast as Concorde without the sound – The Independent

Nasa's X-59 space plane, capable of flying faster than the speed of sound without the loud boom that comes with supersonic flight, is finally nearing completion.

The plane will be the first large scale, piloted X-plane that Nasa has launched in more than 30 years when it is finally put together.

It could also herald a new era in fast space travel, as it attempts to overcome the problems that have blighted previous attempts like Concorde. Normally, supersonic planes create a loud boom when they reach the speed of sound and have as a result been banned from flying over populated areas but the creators of the X-59 claim it will be almost silent.

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And the space agency has announced that it is cleared for final assembly and "integration of its systems" after being looked over by senior managers.

The plane which has the full nameX-59 QuietSuperSonicTechnology (QueSST) is being put together by Lockheed Martin, which will now work to complete it ahead of testing.

The eye of Hurricane Dorian as captured by Nasa astronaut Nick Hague from onboard the International Space Station (ISS) on 3 September

Nasa/EPA

The River Nile and its delta captured at night from the ISS on 2 September

Nasa

The galaxy Messier 81, located in the northern constellation of Ursa Major, as seen by Nasa's Spitzer Space Telescope

Nasa/JPL-Caltech

The flight path Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft is seen in this long exposure photograph as it launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 25 September

Nasa/Bill Ingalls

Danielson Crater, an impact crater in the Arabia region of Mars, as captured by Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft

Nasa/JPL-Caltech

A team rehearses landing and crew extraction from Boeing's CST-100 Starliner, which will be used to carry humans to the International Space Station at the White Sands Missile Range outside Las Cruces, New Mexico

Nasa/Bill Ingalls

Bound for the International Space Station, the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 25 September

Nasa/Bill Ingalls

Hurricane Dorian as seen from the ISS on 2 September

Nasa

A string of tropical cyclones streams across Earth's northern hemisphere in this picture taken from the ISS on 4 September

Nasa

The city of New York as seen from the ISS on 11 September

Nasa

The eye of Hurricane Dorian as captured by Nasa astronaut Nick Hague from onboard the International Space Station (ISS) on 3 September

Nasa/EPA

The River Nile and its delta captured at night from the ISS on 2 September

Nasa

The galaxy Messier 81, located in the northern constellation of Ursa Major, as seen by Nasa's Spitzer Space Telescope

Nasa/JPL-Caltech

The flight path Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft is seen in this long exposure photograph as it launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 25 September

Nasa/Bill Ingalls

Danielson Crater, an impact crater in the Arabia region of Mars, as captured by Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft

Nasa/JPL-Caltech

A team rehearses landing and crew extraction from Boeing's CST-100 Starliner, which will be used to carry humans to the International Space Station at the White Sands Missile Range outside Las Cruces, New Mexico

Nasa/Bill Ingalls

Bound for the International Space Station, the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 25 September

Nasa/Bill Ingalls

Hurricane Dorian as seen from the ISS on 2 September

Nasa

A string of tropical cyclones streams across Earth's northern hemisphere in this picture taken from the ISS on 4 September

Nasa

The city of New York as seen from the ISS on 11 September

Nasa

It should be approved for its first flight in 2020, and the actual launch will come a year after that.

With the completion ofKDP-Dweve shown the project is on schedule, its well planned and on track. We have everything in place to continue this historic research mission for the nationsair-travelingpublic, said BobPearce, NASAs associate administrator for aeronautics, in a statement.

Nasa says that the new plane will make a boom that will onlybe audible as a "gentle thump", or might be entirely silent. It is able to do because of its precise shape, which looks something like an even more sharp version of the Concorde.

It will fly nearly as fast as its lookalike, with a cruising speed of1.42.

That will be put to the test when the plane is ready to fly. The trials will see it sent over "select US communities" in test flights that wil allow Nasa to measure itusing sensors and people on the ground who will "gauge public perception" of the sound of the plane.

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Nasa building supersonic plane that goes as fast as Concorde without the sound - The Independent

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