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NASA contracts Lockheed Martin to design, build, test Supersonic Aircraft with reduced Sonic Boom

 

Written by J.D. Harrington
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has taken another step toward re-introducing supersonic flight with the award Tuesday of a contract for the design, building and testing of a supersonic aircraft that reduces a sonic boom to a gentle thump.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Palmdale, California, was selected for the Low-Boom Flight Demonstration contract, a cost-plus-incentive-fee contract valued at $247.5 million. Work under the contract began April 2nd and runs through December 31st, 2021.

NASA awards a contract for the design, building and testing of a supersonic aircraft to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Palmdale, California. (NASA)

NASA awards a contract for the design, building and testing of a supersonic aircraft to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Palmdale, California. (NASA)

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NASA’s Experimental Electric Airplane designated X-57, nicknamed Maxwell

 

Written by J.D. Harrington
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – With 14 electric motors turning propellers and all of them integrated into a uniquely-designed wing, NASA will test new propulsion technology using an experimental airplane now designated the X-57 and nicknamed “Maxwell.”

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden highlighted the agency’s first X-plane designation in a decade during his keynote speech Friday in Washington at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) annual Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition, commonly called Aviation 2016.

This artist's concept of NASA's X-57 Maxwell aircraft shows the plane's specially designed wing and 14 electric motors. NASA Aeronautics researchers will use the Maxwell to demonstrate that electric propulsion can make planes quieter, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. (NASA Langley/Advanced Concepts Lab, AMA, Inc.)

This artist’s concept of NASA’s X-57 Maxwell aircraft shows the plane’s specially designed wing and 14 electric motors. NASA Aeronautics researchers will use the Maxwell to demonstrate that electric propulsion can make planes quieter, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. (NASA Langley/Advanced Concepts Lab, AMA, Inc.)

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NASA works to bring back Supersonic Travel

 

Written by J.D. Harrington
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The return of supersonic passenger air travel is one step closer to reality with NASA’s award of a contract for the preliminary design of a “low boom” flight demonstration aircraft. This is the first in a series of ‘X-planes’ in NASA’s New Aviation Horizons initiative, introduced in the agency’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced the award at an event Monday at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.

This is an artist’s concept of a possible Low Boom Flight Demonstration Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) X-plane design. The award of a preliminary design contract is the first step towards the possible return of supersonic passenger travel – but this time quieter and more affordable. (Lockheed Martin)

This is an artist’s concept of a possible Low Boom Flight Demonstration Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) X-plane design. The award of a preliminary design contract is the first step towards the possible return of supersonic passenger travel – but this time quieter and more affordable. (Lockheed Martin)

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NASA’s initial tests of Morphing Wing Technology a Success

 

Written by J.D. Harrington
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA researchers, working in concert with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and FlexSys Inc., of Ann Arbor, Michigan, successfully completed initial flight tests of a new morphing wing technology that has the potential to save millions of dollars annually in fuel costs, reduce airframe weight and decrease aircraft noise during takeoffs and landings.

The test team at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, flew 22 research flights during the past six months with experimental Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) flight control surfaces that offer significant improvements over conventional flaps used on existing aircraft.

NASA successfully completed flight tests of a morphing wing technology. Flap angles were adjusted from -2 degrees up to 30 degrees during the six months of testing. (NASA)

NASA successfully completed flight tests of a morphing wing technology. Flap angles were adjusted from -2 degrees up to 30 degrees during the six months of testing. (NASA)

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NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Black Hole Survey has astronomers reexamining “Doughnut” Theory

 

Written by J.D. Harrington
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A survey of more than 170,000 supermassive black holes, using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), has astronomers reexamining a decades-old theory about the varying appearances of these interstellar objects.

The unified theory of active, supermassive black holes, first developed in the late 1970s, was created to explain why black holes, though similar in nature, can look completely different. Some appear to be shrouded in dust, while others are exposed and easy to see.

Active, supermassive black holes at the hearts of galaxies tend to fall into two categories: those that are hidden by dust, and those that are exposed. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Active, supermassive black holes at the hearts of galaxies tend to fall into two categories: those that are hidden by dust, and those that are exposed. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Telescopes to Probe deeper into the Universe than ever before

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes are teaming up to look deeper into the universe than ever before. With a boost from natural “zoom lenses” found in space, they should be able to uncover galaxies that are as much as 100 times fainter than what these three great observatories typically can see.

In an ambitious collaborative program called The Frontier Fields, astronomers will make observations during the next three years peering at six massive clusters of galaxies, exploiting a natural phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, to learn not only what is inside the clusters but also what is beyond them.

These are NASA Hubble Space Telescope natural-color images of four target galaxy clusters that are part of an ambitious new observing program called The Frontier Fields.

These are NASA Hubble Space Telescope natural-color images of four target galaxy clusters that are part of an ambitious new observing program called The Frontier Fields.

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NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope sees Comet ISON Gas Emissions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have observed what most likely are strong carbon dioxide emissions from Comet ISON ahead of its anticipated pass through the inner solar system later this year.

Images captured June 13th with Spitzer’s Infrared Array Camera indicate carbon dioxide is slowly and steadily “fizzing” away from the so-called “soda-pop comet,” along with dust, in a tail about 186,400 miles (300,000 kilometers) long.

These images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of C/2012 S1 (Comet ISON) were taken on June 13th, when ISON was 310 million miles (about 500 million kilometers) from the sun. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHUAPL/UCF)

These images from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope of C/2012 S1 (Comet ISON) were taken on June 13th, when ISON was 310 million miles (about 500 million kilometers) from the sun. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHUAPL/UCF)

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NASA study reveals Warm Ocean Water melting Antarctic Ice Shelf from below

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Ocean waters melting the undersides of Antarctic ice shelves are responsible for most of the continent’s ice shelf mass loss, a new study by NASA and university researchers has found.

Scientists have studied the rates of basal melt, or the melting of the ice shelves from underneath, of individual ice shelves, the floating extensions of glaciers that empty into the sea. But this is the first comprehensive survey of all Antarctic ice shelves. The study found basal melt accounted for 55 percent of all Antarctic ice shelf mass loss from 2003 to 2008, an amount much higher than previously thought.

This photo shows the ice front of Venable Ice Shelf, West Antarctica, in October 2008. It is an example of a small-size ice shelf that is a large melt water producer. The image was taken onboard the Chilean Navy P3 aircraft during the NASA/Centro de Estudios Cientificos, Chile campaign of Fall 2008 in Antarctica. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UC Irvine)

This photo shows the ice front of Venable Ice Shelf, West Antarctica, in October 2008. It is an example of a small-size ice shelf that is a large melt water producer. The image was taken onboard the Chilean Navy P3 aircraft during the NASA/Centro de Estudios Cientificos, Chile campaign of Fall 2008 in Antarctica. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UC Irvine)

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NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer data confirms Spiral Galaxy as Largest ever discovered

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The spectacular barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 has ranked among the biggest stellar systems for decades. Now a team of astronomers from the United States, Chile and Brazil has crowned it the largest known spiral, based on archival data from NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) mission, which has since been loaned to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Measuring tip-to-tip across its two outsized spiral arms, NGC 6872 spans more than 522,000 light-years, making it more than five times the size of our Milky Way galaxy.

This composite of the giant barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 combines visible light images from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope with far-ultraviolet (1,528 angstroms) data from NASA's GALEX and 3.6-micron infrared data acquired by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. (Image credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/ESO/JPL-Caltech/DSS)

This composite of the giant barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 combines visible light images from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope with far-ultraviolet (1,528 angstroms) data from NASA’s GALEX and 3.6-micron infrared data acquired by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. (Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/ESO/JPL-Caltech/DSS)

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