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NASA Issues Award for Greener, More Fuel-Efficient Airliner of Future

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NASA
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson holds a model of an aircraft with a Transonic Truss-Braced Wing during a news conference on NASA’s Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building in Washington, DC. Through a Funded Space Act Agreement, The Boeing company and its industry team will collaborate with NASA to develop and flight-test a full-scale Transonic Truss-Braced Wing demonstrator aircraft. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

NASA announced Wednesday it has issued an award to The Boeing Company for the agency’s Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project, which seeks to inform a potential new generation of green single-aisle airliners.

Under a Funded Space Act Agreement, Boeing will work with NASA to build, test, and fly a full-scale demonstrator aircraft and validate technologies aimed at lowering emissions.

Over seven years, NASA will invest $425 million, while the company and its partners will contribute the remainder of the agreement funding, estimated at about $725 million. As part of the agreement, the agency also will contribute technical expertise and facilities.

“Since the beginning, NASA has been with you when you fly. NASA has dared to go farther, faster, higher. And in doing so, NASA has made aviation more sustainable and dependable. It is in our DNA,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “It’s our goal that NASA’s partnership with Boeing to produce and test a full-scale demonstrator will help lead to future commercial airliners that are more fuel efficient, with benefits to the environment, the commercial aviation industry, and to passengers worldwide. If we are successful, we may see these technologies in planes that the public takes to the skies in the 2030s.”

Single-aisle aircraft are the workhorse of many airline fleets, and due to their heavy usage, account for nearly half of worldwide aviation emissions. NASA plans to complete testing for the project by the late 2020s, so that technologies and designs demonstrated by the project can inform industry decisions about the next generation of single-aisle aircraft that could enter into service in the 2030s.

Through the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project, Boeing and its industry team will partner with NASA to develop and flight-test a full-scale Transonic Truss-Braced Wing demonstrator aircraft.

The Transonic Truss-Braced Wing concept involves an aircraft with extra-long, thin wings stabilized by diagonal struts. This design results in an aircraft that is much more fuel efficient than a traditional airliner due to a shape that would create less drag – resulting in its burning less fuel.

“NASA is working toward an ambitious goal of developing game-changing technologies to reduce aviation energy use and emissions over the coming decades toward an aviation community goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Bob Pearce, NASA associate administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. “The Transonic Truss-Braced Wing is the kind of transformative concept and investment we will need to meet those challenges and, critically, the technologies demonstrated in this project have a clear and viable path to informing the next generation of single-aisle aircraft, benefiting everyone that uses the air transportation system.”

NASA’s goal is that the technology flown on the demonstrator aircraft, when combined with other advancements in propulsion systems, materials, and systems architecture, would result in fuel consumption and emissions reductions of up to 30% relative to today’s most efficient single-aisle aircraft, depending on the mission.

Through separate efforts, NASA has worked with Boeing and other industry partners on advanced sustainable aviation concepts, including the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing concept.

NASA
Artist concept of commercial aircraft families with a Transonic Truss-Braced Wing configuration from the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project.
Credits: Boeing

“We’re honored to continue our partnership with NASA and to demonstrate technology that significantly improves aerodynamic efficiency resulting in substantially lower fuel burn and emissions,” said Todd Citron, Boeing chief technology officer. “Boeing has been advancing a multipronged sustainability strategy, including fleet renewal, operational efficiency, renewable energy, and advanced technologies to support the U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan and meet the industry objective of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Sustainable Flight Demonstrator builds on more than a decade of NASA, Boeing, and our industry partners’ investments to help achieve these objectives.”

The new Funded Space Act agreement allows NASA to capitalize on private industry knowledge and experience, with Boeing and its partners laying out a proposed technical plan. NASA will provide access to its aeronautics facilities and expertise. NASA will not procure an aircraft or any other hardware for its missions. The agency will obtain access to certain ground and flight data that can be used to validate the airframe configuration and associated technologies.

The Sustainable Flight Demonstrator will help the United States achieve net-zero carbon emissions from aviation by 2050 – one of the environmental goals articulated in the White House’s U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan. The International Civil Aviation Organization also has set a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The project is an activity under NASA’s Integrated Aviation Systems Program and a key element of the Sustainable Flight National Partnership, which focuses on developing new sustainable aviation technologies.

Learn more about NASA’s Sustainable Aviation efforts at:

https://go.nasa.gov/3GzcDMP

Source: NASA

https://q5i.09c.myftpupload.com/category/science/

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NASA’s Newest Spaceplane: Dream Chaser Tenacity Arriving at Kennedy Space Center

Dream Chaser Tenacity arrives at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, a milestone in enhancing ISS resupply missions. New era of commercial spaceplanes begins.

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Image Credit: Sierra Space

Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser Tenacity has made an exciting arrival at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, marking a significant milestone in NASA’s initiative to enhance commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station. This uncrewed spaceplane, part of a fleet planned by Sierra Space, is set to deliver 7,800 pounds of cargo using a ULA Vulcan rocket for its inaugural mission.

Pre-Launch Testing and Preparation
Before its arrival at Kennedy Space Center, Dream Chaser Tenacity underwent rigorous testing and preparation. From vibration testing to exposure to extreme temperatures and pressures, the spaceplane and its cargo module, Shooting Star, were meticulously prepared for their journey to the ISS.

Final Preparations at Kennedy
Now at Kennedy Space Center, Dream Chaser Tenacity is undergoing final testing and prelaunch processing inside the Space Systems Processing Facility. The spaceplane is set to launch atop a ULA Vulcan rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, marking the beginning of its mission to deliver cargo to the orbiting laboratory.

Design and Capabilities
With its lifting body design and unique winged structure, Dream Chaser is capable of transporting cargo to and from low Earth orbit and landing on a runway similar to NASA’s space shuttle. The spaceplane, along with the Shooting Star cargo module, offers a versatile and efficient means of resupplying the ISS.

Certification and In-Orbit Operations
Once in orbit, Dream Chaser Tenacity will undergo a series of demonstrations to showcase its maneuverability and docking capabilities. After delivering cargo to the ISS and completing its mission, the spaceplane will return to Kennedy’s Launch and Landing Facility for inspection and preparation for future missions.

The arrival of Dream Chaser Tenacity at Kennedy Space Center heralds a new era in commercial resupply missions to the ISS, showcasing the capabilities of Sierra Space’s innovative spaceplane technology. As NASA continues to expand its partnerships with commercial providers, the Dream Chaser fleet stands ready to support the agency’s goals in low Earth orbit exploration.

https://www.sierraspace.com/dream-chaser-spaceplane/uncrewed-cargo-spacecraft

https://stmdailynews.com/category/science

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  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

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Breaking Barriers: XB-1 Demonstrator Soars into the Future of Supersonic Travel

XB-1’s first flight paves the way for supersonic travel, marking a milestone in aviation history. #Boom #XB1 #SupersonicFlight

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"XB-1 supersonic demonstrator aircraft taking flight, marking a major milestone in aviation history"

Image Credit: Boom Supersonic


The aviation industry is on the brink of a revolution with the recent successful inaugural flight of Boom’s supersonic demonstrator aircraft, XB-1. This groundbreaking achievement brings us one step closer to the return of supersonic travel. Designed as a technology demonstrator, XB-1 aims to pave the way for the development of Overture, Boom’s commercial supersonic plane. With extensive ground testing and meticulous flight testing, the maiden flight of an aircraft is a crucial milestone that encompasses various elements. Let’s delve into the intriguing world of what happens during an aircraft’s first flight.


The Importance of Ground Testing and Taxi Tests
Before an aircraft takes to the skies, rigorous ground testing is conducted to ensure safety and operational requirements are met. These tests encompass a series of checks, including engine runs and comprehensive evaluations of each onboard system. Moreover, taxi tests are crucial in assessing the aircraft’s performance, handling, and maneuverability on the ground. By gradually increasing speeds, the team can gather valuable data that aids in a safe takeoff, landing, and efficient ground operations. These tests provide important insights into the overall functionality and readiness of the aircraft for flight testing.

The Maiden Flight: A Leap into the Unknown
The maiden flight of an aircraft is a momentous occasion that often varies in terms of speed, altitude, and duration. Throughout history, we have witnessed significant milestones, from the historic Wright Brothers’ 12-second flight to the remarkable achievements of modern-day aviation. During a maiden flight, safety and risk mitigation are paramount. The flight envelope, which outlines the operational limits of the aircraft, expands gradually over a series of test flights as performance data is analyzed.

In the case of XB-1’s inaugural flight, Chief Test Pilot Bill “Doc” Shoemaker assumed control, while Test Pilot Tristan “Geppetto” Brandenburg monitored the aircraft from a T-38 chase plane. Climbing to a maximum altitude of 7,120 feet and a speed of 238 knots (273 mph) during the 12-minute flight, XB-1 successfully met all test objectives. The ground team, led by Vice President of XB-1 Jeff Mabry, played a crucial role in monitoring and analyzing the flight’s various aspects.

Evaluating Performance and Assessing Safety
During a maiden flight, meticulous observations are made to analyze the aircraft’s handling qualities, airspeed, and stability. An augmented reality vision system equips the pilot with improved runway visibility and enhanced aerodynamic efficiency, without compromising weight and complexity. This innovative system assists the pilot during critical phases such as landing, providing real-time data on attitude and flight path indications.

Safety measures during the maiden flight often include keeping the landing gear down. This ensures that the primary focus remains on evaluating other aspects of the aircraft’s performance during takeoff and landing. Should an emergency landing be necessary, testing the landing gear in subsequent flights allows for additional verification and validation.

XB-1’s successful first flight demonstrated the effectiveness of the team’s coordinated efforts. The pilots flew while ground engineers observed from the control room, providing insights into the various systems they had designed and tested for the past two years. The collaboration between the pilot, augmented reality vision system, and Landing Signal Officer (LSO) ensured a safe landing by optimizing the aircraft’s final approach and flight path.

The Path to the Future: Overture and the Return of Supersonic Travel
The inaugural flight of XB-1 represents a significant step towards the return of supersonic travel. As a technology demonstrator, XB-1 has laid the foundations for the design and development of Overture, Boom’s commercial supersonic plane. Overture, capable of carrying 64-80 passengers at Mach 1.7, aims to revolutionize air travel by reducing the time taken for long-haul journeys. Moreover, sustainability is a fundamental aspect of Overture’s design, with the aim of utilizing up to 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

The maiden flight of an aircraft like XB-1 marks a defining moment in the development of supersonic aviation technology. Meticulous ground testing, followed by a successful first flight, brings us closer to the realization of supersonic travel. XB-1’s flight serves as a testament to the dedication, expertise, and collaborative efforts of the team involved. With Overture on the horizon, the return of supersonic travel is becoming an exciting reality. The aviation industry is poised to break more barriers in the pursuit of safer, faster, and more sustainable air travel.

https://boomsupersonic.com/flyby/inaugural-first-flight-xb1-supersonic-demonstrator

https://stmdailynews.com/category/science/

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  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

    View all posts

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Ready for Liftoff: Boeing’s Starliner Spacecraft Prepares to Soar

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft overcomes safety hurdles for May launch to the ISS, marking their first crewed trip. Exciting times ahead! 🚀✨ #SpaceExploration #StarlinerLaunch

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"Boeing's Starliner spacecraft ready for liftoff to the International Space Station"
Boeing Starliner – Image Credit: NASA

After encountering numerous delays and setbacks, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is finally on the brink of liftoff, targeting a launch date in May. The journey to this point has been filled with challenges for Boeing’s crew vehicle, with the most recent obstacles relating to two major safety concerns. However, during a press briefing, representatives from the company expressed confidence in the resolved issues, particularly regarding the parachutes and protective tape. Let’s delve into the remarkable journey of the Starliner as it prepares to carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

Throughout its development, Boeing’s Starliner faced a series of unfortunate delays. Notably, the most recent delay was due to the discovery of two significant safety hazards on the spacecraft. The first concern involved the load capacity of the parachutes, which are crucial for the safe landing of the crew vehicle. Extensive investigation revealed that the failure load limit of the fabric sections on the parachutes was lower than expected, necessitating rectification to ensure redundancy and safety. The second concern centered around flammable protective tape used to cover wiring harnesses within the Starliner. To mitigate this risk, Boeing carefully removed the tape and implemented necessary barriers or found areas where the tape posed no threat.

Boeing’s priority has always been the safety and reliability of their crew vehicle. In response to the safety concerns, Boeing developed a new parachute system that meets NASA’s meticulous safety standards. The achievement of closing the necessary paperwork for these modifications reaffirms their dedication to providing a secure mode of transportation for astronauts. Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager of Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program, expressed readiness and confidence during the press briefing, highlighting the extensive efforts made to eliminate risks.

The upcoming launch of the Starliner spacecraft to the ISS will mark Boeing’s first crewed mission. This historic flight follows the anomaly encountered during an uncrewed test flight in May 2022 when a thruster used for orbital maneuvering unexpectedly failed. The Starliner’s inaugural uncrewed test in 2019 also faced challenges, resulting in further tests and troubleshooting to ensure the spacecraft’s reliability and performance.

"Boeing's Starliner spacecraft ready for liftoff to the International Space Station"
The crew access arm is seen as it swings into position for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 ahead of the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission, Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2 will be Starliner’s second uncrewed flight test and will dock to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The mission, currently targeted for launch on 6:54 p.m. ET on May 19, will serve as an end-to-end test of the system’s capabilities. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Boeing’s successful Starliner mission to the ISS will establish them as NASA’s concurrent commercial partner, joining SpaceX in providing transportation to and from the International Space Station. NASA has been primarily relying on SpaceX for crewed trips, reducing dependence on Russia’s Soyuz crew ship. This diversification of transportation options increases redundancy, safety, and autonomy for NASA. While Russia’s recent launch abort highlighted the ongoing importance of multiple commercial partners, Boeing’s readiness and ability to fulfill its role in this context positions NASA to rely on both companies for future orbital trips.

As the Starliner’s launch date approaches, the anticipation around this long-awaited mission grows. Boeing’s dedication to safety and addressing the challenges they encountered paves the way for future advancements in crewed space missions. With the commercial space industry evolving rapidly, NASA’s collaboration with multiple partners ensures reliability, innovation, and continuous progress towards exploring the mysteries of space. The imminent liftoff of the Starliner spacecraft signifies a significant milestone for Boeing, NASA, and the future of human space exploration.

What is the Starliner spacecraft?

The first of two operational Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, known as Boeing Starliner Spacecraft 2, was developed and constructed as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Initially planned for its inaugural flight during Boe-CFT, the first crewed test flight of the Starliner spacecraft, it was later rescheduled to perform the Boe-OFT-2 mission due to the partial failure of another CST-100 in Boe-OFT. Additionally, the spacecraft was reassigned to fly Starliner-1 after being originally assigned to the CFT mission.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Starliner_Spacecraft_2

https://gizmodo.com/boeing-starliner-astronaut-flight-flammable-tape-nasa-1851359764

https://stmdailynews.com/category/science/

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  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

    View all posts

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