December 2, 2021

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NASA’s ‘quiet’ X-59 supersonic plane is coming together as space agency chases faster flight

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Supersonic planes are notoriously noisy, but NASA engineers think they can reduce the thunderous boom these planes produce into a barely audible thump by cleverly shaping the aircraft to minimize how it reflects sound waves. 

The raw structure of a prototype of such a plane, the X-59, has just been assembled at the facilities of NASA contractor Lockheed Martin in Palmdale, California. The 99-foot-long (30 meters), 24,000-pound (10,000 kilograms) one seater might take to the sky as early as the end of 2022, paving the way for a new era of supersonic aviation.

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