Is NASA’s X-59 Supersonic Plane Safe?

  1. Space Vehicle
  2. Article
    1. NASA X-59 plane
    2. “NASA’s ‘quiet’ X-59 supersonic plane is coming together as space agency chases faster flight”
    4. Summary
      1. Supersonic planes are really noisy because of the colliding soundwaves that are created from the plane traveling faster than the speed of sound.
      2. NASA engineers are working to address this by creating the X-59 plane with a very narrow, long nose that minimizes the shock waves created as the plane moves through the air. They estimate that the amplitude of the sound wave generated by the X-59 will be 5-8 times lower than that of the popular Concorde supersonic plane.
      3. Due to the long nose, the pilot cannot directly see out of the plane and instead relies on high definition cameras.
      4. The quieter sound created by the X-59 might mean it will be allowed to travel over land in contrast to the current regulations requiring supersonic planes to only fly over oceans. NASA hopes that the engineering principles learned will be applied to supersonic commercial aircraft in the future.
  3. Threats
    1. Nation States: These threat actors may attack the actual space vehicle, perhaps by compromising the supply chain of materials used in its construction. They could also go after the ground station.
    2. Insider Threat: Someone who may be against the development of supersonic air-travel could also attack the actual space vehicle or the ground station.
  4. Impacts
    1. If a threat actor attacked the vehicle itself, critical systems could be impacted.
    2. A ground station attack may more likely impact the critical networks for the space vehicle.

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