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NASA / Caroline Montgomery Casey Denham, aerospace engineer with the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, works with tribal students during a STEM activity at the American Indian Engineering Sciences (AISES) National Conference in Spokane, Washington, Oct. 19-21, 2023. Denham, whose heritage is Meskwaki, was part of a NASA group that presented sessions and shared their passion about their work with more than 3500 attendees. Denham was previously a Pathways Intern at Langley.
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Image credit: NASA/Caroline Montgomery
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By European Space Agency
The second European Service Module was connected to the rest of the Orion spacecraft which will be used in the Artemis II mission that will bring astronauts around the Moon and back for the first time in over 50 years.
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The safety and performance of hazardous propellant systems is a main focus at White Sands Test Facility. Our workforce conducts laboratory micro-analysis to full-scale field explosion tests. With the expertise we have developed, we provide training to the aerospace industry in the safe handling of various propellants.
We also provide analysis of systems and operational safety, propellant spec analysis, personal protective equipment assessment, and detection technologies for both industrial and flight applications for our propulsion testing team and end users in aerospace and industry.
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3 min read
NASA Targets 2024 for First Flight of X-59 Experimental Aircraft
NASA’s X-59 research aircraft moved from its construction site to the flight line — or the space between the hangar and the runway — at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale, California on June 16, 2023. The move allowed the X-59 team to perform safety and structural testing, critical steps toward first flight.Lockheed-Martin NASA’s Quesst mission has adjusted the scheduled first flight of its X-59 quiet supersonic aircraft to 2024.
A one-of-a-kind experimental aircraft, the X-59 has required complex engineering from NASA researchers working with prime contractor Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. In addition to the aircraft’s design, the X-59 also combines new technology with systems and components from multiple, established aircraft, such as its landing gear from an F-16 and its life-support system adapted from an F-15.
As part of the demands of developing this unique aircraft, the Quesst team is working through several technical challenges identified over the course of 2023, when the X-59 had been scheduled to make its first flight. Extra time is needed to fully integrate systems into the aircraft and ensure they work together as expected. The team is also resolving intermittent issues with some of the safety-redundant computers that control the aircraft’s systems.
Quesst made steady progress toward flight over the past year. The team installed the finishing touches to the X-59’s tail structure, which allowed them to finalize its electrical wiring and proceed to critical ground tests, and moved it from its assembly facility to the flight line to perform structural testing.
The X-59 will demonstrate the ability to fly supersonic, or faster than the speed of sound, while reducing the normally loud sonic boom to a quiet sonic thump. NASA plans to fly the X-59 over several communities to gather data on how people perceive the sound it produces. The agency will provide that information to U.S. and international regulators to potentially adjust rules that currently prohibit commercial supersonic flight over land.
NASA’s top priorities for any mission are safety and ensuring success. For Quesst, that means not only being sure that the X-59 is safe before it flies, but safe in the long term and reliable during the community test phase. The aircraft is currently undergoing integrated testing, which must be completed before it flies. Once that stage is complete, the aircraft will continue its journey with a flight readiness review, at which point NASA plans to release a more specific timeline for first flight.
Quesst is a mission with the potential to revolutionize commercial aviation travel by dramatically reducing travel time. Safely and reliably flying the X-59 is critical for NASA to achieve those benefits. The agency is committed to a thorough review and testing process that results in the success of that mission.
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Aeronautics Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Ames Research Center Armstrong Flight Research Center Glenn Research Center Langley Research Center Low Boom Flight Demonstrator Quesst (X-59) Quesst: The Vehicle Supersonic Flight View the full article
(a) Acquisition from commercial providers. The Administrator shall, to the extent possible and while satisfying the scientific or educational requirements of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and where appropriate, of other Federal agencies and scientific researchers, acquire, where cost effective, space science data from a commercial provider.
(b) Treatment of space science data as commercial item under acquisition laws Acquisitions of space science data by the Administrator shall be carried out in accordance with applicable acquisition laws and regulations (including chapters 137 and 140 of title 10). For purposes of such law and regulations, space science data shall be considered to be a commercial item. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude the United States from acquiring, through contracts with commercial providers, sufficient rights in data to meet the needs of the scientific and educational community or the needs of other government activities.
(c) Definition. For purposes of this section, the term ”space science data” includes scientific data concerning – (1) the elemental and mineralogical resources of the moon, asteroids, planets and their moons, and comets; (2) microgravity acceleration; and (3) solar storm monitoring.
(d) Safety standards. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Federal Government from requiring compliance with applicable safety standards.
(e) Limitation. This section does not authorize the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to provide financial assistance for the development of commercial systems for the collection of space science data.
(Pub. L. 105-303, title I, Sec. 105, Oct. 28, 1998, 112 Stat. 2852.)
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