Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NASA to Attempt Mach 10 Flight Next Week

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the hello-john-val-says-hi dept.

Space 357

Dirak writes "NASA intends to break its own aircraft-speed record for the second time this year by flying X43a scramjet ten times faster than sound. On November 15 the X-43A supersonic-combustion ramjet - or scramjet - will again take to the skies aiming for Mach 10."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What is the Speed of Sound? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10791949)

Just above the atmosphere, what is the speed of sound? I guess when an article says 10 times the speed of sound it means the speed of sound at sea level right? But this aircraft isn't at sea level. This aircraft skips on top of the atmosphere pulsing the scramjets while dropping into the atmosphere.

The speed of sound isn't a good tool to measure the speed, as the speed of sound without an atmosphere is either infinite, undefined, zero or a combination of the choices. I mean once you get into space, should you add the speed the earth is rotating plus the speed around the sun using a basis of sound?

Re:What is the Speed of Sound? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792117)

Speed of sound in a vacuum?

Just a guess. ;)

Re:What is the Speed of Sound? (3, Informative)

kuwan (443684) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792127)

From the article:

The final flight in the Hyper-X program is scheduled to take place in October, when another X-43A aircraft will attempt to fly at Mach 10 -- ten times the speed of sound -- or 7,200 mph.

So if 10x the speed of sound is 7,200 mph, then the speed of sound is roughly 720 mph.

--
Free Flat Screens [freeflatscreens.com] | Free iPod Photo [freephotoipods.com] | It really works! [wired.com]

Re:What is the Speed of Sound? (2, Interesting)

mog007 (677810) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792353)

That's not really a speed record, considering the space shuttle hits, what, around 22,000 miles per hour?

Re:What is the Speed of Sound? (1)

Saltine Cracker (116414) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792140)

Isn't mach a unit of measure for the speed of sound at sea level?...700MPH. All it means is Mach 1 = 700MPH, Mach2 = 1400MPH, etc.

So mach 10 is just a differen way of saying 7000mph.

Re:What is the Speed of Sound? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792340)

Not really. Your average airliner will do about mach 0.83. Thats a useful thing for a pilot / engine maintainer to know and deal with, and they don't do it at sea level. The speed of sound in air will change depending on its density and temperature. So mach 1 at sea level probably isn't the same as where this thing will fly.
Let's see:
Speed of sound [wikipedia.org]
And then you have the fun of working out its real air speed vs ground speed (its progress in going from A to B on surface), which is why you were flying to begin with. :)

Re:What is the Speed of Sound? (3, Funny)

quizwedge (324481) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792156)

In Space... No One Can Hear You Scream

Re:What is the Speed of Sound? (4, Funny)

Dr. GeneMachine (720233) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792281)

You surely meant
In Space... No One Can Hear You Scram

Re:What is the Speed of Sound? (1)

samberdoo (812366) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792163)

The speed of sound is used since it was once considered a "barrier" to air speed. When you reach that velocity you have significant resistance and create a "sonic boom". It is a traditional measure like hogsheads and furlongs.

Not that archaic (2, Informative)

mdp1173 (815076) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792313)

Mach number is not just the speed of sound in air at sea level. It is used by mechanical engineers all the time because it applies to ALL fluids. Every fluid (yes, air is a fluid) has a Mach number. Mach numbers are useful in many types of calculations other than "the speed when you hear the boom"

Re:What is the Speed of Sound? (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792179)

"Mach" is specifically intentionally referenced to the speed of sound. IAMAAE (aviation engineer), but most obviously, sonic booms always appear as soon as the aircraft goes as fast as the speed of sound, and this speed changes depending on the temperature and makeup of the medium that the object is travelling in. I presume there are other aerodynamic properties correlated with the Mach number as well (for instance, see references to the "Mach cone").

Re:What is the Speed of Sound? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792261)

IAMAAE? How the hell does that work out?

Re:What is the Speed of Sound? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792364)

The speed of sound isn't a good tool to measure the speed, as the speed of sound without an atmosphere is either infinite, undefined, zero or a combination of the choices. I mean once you get into space, should you add the speed the earth is rotating plus the speed around the sun using a basis of sound?

a) They clearly mean the speed of sound in the earth's atmosphere at sea level. The speed of sound in space (a vacuum) is zero.

b) Speed .. they mean their gained velocity (ignoring the earth's orbital speed and the rotational velocity).. the earth's spin is not a factor .. cause we are not talking about speed relative to the sun or the moon or something! They mean it attains a certain velocity because it will produce a certain magnitude of the thrust (which will no doubt be be countered by drag).

fast bird (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10791953)

wow .. now we can go faster ...

tired of waiting (-1, Offtopic)

potus98 (741836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10791959)

up for 30 sec. w/ no FP???

Re:tired of waiting (0, Offtopic)

BobRooney (602821) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792021)

Sort of a ho-hum TFA.

A paragraph and a blurry picture: sure to inspire flame wars.

Boom, BIG bada boom! (0)

Ralphus Maximus (594419) | more than 9 years ago | (#10791965)

So how big will the sonic boom be? RM

Re:Boom, BIG bada boom! (1)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792159)

Probably something like this

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM

But you should expect larger fonts in this comic

Aurora? (1, Insightful)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 9 years ago | (#10791966)

And the Aurora aircraft will be the chase planes correct :)

B.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10791970)

Didn't you see what hapened to Picard when they went faster then light? are they going to travel in time or sligshot off the sun gravity?

Fast times at tax-payers' expense (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10791972)

Maybe we can practice other completely unnecessary acts of money waste.

Re:Fast times at tax-payers' expense (3, Informative)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792118)

Maybe we can practice other completely unnecessary acts of money waste.
You mean like spend $125 Million [cnn.com] on a video game? That does almost absolutely nothing to advance society at all?

I'm tired of hearing people yap about tax money when they waste money on frivolous things. Not to say that video games are bad, but do you know how much health care or education $125 Million will purchase? And the general public dropped that in one day! Do you know how much good research $125 M will purchase? I haven't looked it up, but I'm guessing the X-43A project is on the same order of magnitude cost-wise as what the public spent on this one single video game.

Re:Fast times at tax-payers' expense (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792221)

I found the following information from NASA [nasa.gov] :

For FY 2002 and FY 2003, The X-43A program only cost a combined $52 M; the total budget for the project is $227 Million.

Re:Fast times at tax-payers' expense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792267)

It's damned liberals like you that just don't get it. It's one thing for individuals to spend money on what they want to spend money on. It's another to be forced to give your hard-earned money to the government, and then that government proceeds to squander the money on truely useless projects.

If these projects were so important, than the private sector would be willing to fund them for themselves. Since the private sector is not clamoring for a Mach 10 SCRAM jet, why is government????

Building a fast jet plane isn't research. It's building a fast jet plane. Research is quite a bit more boring than a fast jet.

This is a liberal toy. Now that the Gops are in power, I think we'll see a little more sanity in terms of "research" spending.

Re:Fast times at tax-payers' expense (1)

thpdg (519053) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792300)

Why would the liberals want a fast plane? Is it so they can outrun the defeat in state after state?

Goomba Goom! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792403)

Is it so they can outrun the defeat in state after state?

Kerry won in Ohio. In a landslide. I don't see how Bush could possibly have won, because nobody I know voted for him. Nobody here in Islington voted for him. Nobody. Any fool who reads the Guardian knew not to vote for that moron and everybody reads the Guardian, at least everybody one knows.

It was those dreadful neoconservatives. They faked the results. Americans are morons. Have you heard how they talk? They even sound American. Morons, all of them.

Re:Fast times at tax-payers' expense (1)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792385)

Maybe we can practice other completely unnecessary acts of money waste.

You mean like spend $125 Million on a video game? That does almost absolutely nothing to advance society at all?

I'm tired of hearing people yap about tax money when they waste money on frivolous things. Not to say that video games are bad, but do you know how much health care or education $125 Million will purchase? And the general public dropped that in one day! Do you know how much good research $125 M will purchase? I haven't looked it up, but I'm guessing the X-43A project is on the same order of magnitude cost-wise as what the public spent on this one single video game.


I had promised my 12 year old nephew that I would wait in line with him, and treat him to Halo at midnight the other night. At 11:45 it dawned on me that my $49 would better benefit society if we donated it to some university doing good research. So we went home.

I'm still trying to figure out who left that flaming bag of poo on my stoop last night.

Re:Fast times at tax-payers' expense (2, Insightful)

pi_rules (123171) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792390)

do you know how much health care or education $125 Million will purchase?


Yeah, a couple of Band-aid's and a pencil or two for every citizen.

You could build, maybe, 8 schools with that kinda cash.

Woooooo!

Risky? (2, Funny)

MycroftMkIV (197922) | more than 9 years ago | (#10791975)

I don't know how this can be risky. No one will be in the thing when they fly it. How is that risky?

Mike

Re:Risky? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792107)

The thing falling and crashing into another thing risky. The thing exploding on launch, blowing up the B-52 with people on it risky. I dunno, take your pick.

Re:Risky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792320)

Euhm... blowing up XXX billion dollars of research?

Finally (0, Troll)

Locdonan (804414) | more than 9 years ago | (#10791978)

NASA can get nowhere REALLY fast

I would really like to see something that gets us going faster in Space. We can get up there just fine if the ship doesn't go. And we can get down jsut fine (again if the ship stays together), but we need to explore the universe! We need Warp! Dammit Jim, I want to go to Aplha Centauri DisneyLand!

W00T! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10791979)

Now they can hurtle spacecraft towards Mars even faster before they malfunction and drift into outer space :D

Re:W00T! (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792286)

For a minute there, I read that as NASCAR. Dear lord, all we need are hicks going that fast. They can't even keep the cars from crashing, how are they supposed to stop and stay alive? Wait... that's the secret.. never mind! Move along, nothing to see here!

And then what? (0, Flamebait)

rooskie (741631) | more than 9 years ago | (#10791983)

do we really need to go this fast?

Flying faster than a first post... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10791984)

Mach 10? Call me when you hit Warp 1, then we'll talk.

Re:Flying faster than a first post... (1)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792080)

I wonder how much space for turning would it need then.

Travel backwards in time... (-1, Offtopic)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 9 years ago | (#10791986)

And vote Kerry!

Re:Travel backwards in time... (-1, Flamebait)

StudyOfEfficiency (826511) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792027)

You mean, and stop voting fraud so your vote for Kerry actually gets counted.

Re:Travel backwards in time... (0, Offtopic)

Cobalt Jacket (611660) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792060)

This [theonion.com] is apropos.

What are the Vegas Odds of this working? (1)

Nemesis099 (60955) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792007)

I wonder if Vegas is taking bets on if it will work or not?

I don't think it will. I just doubt the plane will hold together with that much pressure on it.

10th Mach! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792012)

10th Mach!

now that bush has been reelected (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792015)

I wonder how this will be used to hunt for and destroy civi i mean terrorists.

Great (-1, Flamebait)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792018)

But why would they use this speed.

Since their space program is almost dead and their air program is too fast for earthlings, one could wonder where's the catch in this

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792114)

Haven't you read any of Dan Brown's books? It's vital that we be able to rush obscure professors around the globe at ludicrous speed so that they can save the world and score with hot chicks.

Re:Great (1)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792188)

Thanks, I really needed that one:)

btw. NASA breaking speed barrier, and /. almost dying today. What a coincidence

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792254)

Ludicrous speed? Let's not get ahead of ourselves. It will be a long time before they can go plaid.

To Bad for the sonic Boom. (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792044)

All this extra speed will not be available for the common public until they can resolve the problem with the sonic boom. Once that is resolved I think it would be a lot more interesting where they could have supersonic flights that go over land as well. And the general public will advance. Right now having an airplain that can go at Mach 10 is somewhat useless because we can already out fly our enemies planes which most were build during the cold war times.

Re:To Bad for the sonic Boom. (3, Interesting)

Saltine Cracker (116414) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792106)

At an altitude of 110,000 feet, I don't think surface dwellers need to worry too much about sonic booms.

Or is the point of your post that the Government shouldn't fund research unless it's fruits can be made readily available to the public?

Re:To Bad for the sonic Boom. (4, Informative)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792200)

I think there is little to no interest in this as far as combat aircraft. NASA's main interest is in using scramjets to produce aircraft like vehicles that can "fly" into space affordably. As I understand it aside from their ability to operate at high speeds more efficiently than rockets, they also allow for much higher altitude functionality than a standard jet engine. This would allow a space plane to get high in the atmosphere, then use a small rocket boost to get into orbit.

I believe the idea behind a functional vehicle would be something like a standard jet engine getting a craft up to mach 1 or 2, then a ramjet taking over and getting a craft up to mach 5 or so, and then a scramjet taking a ship up to mach 10-15, at which point a rocket boost pushes it through the last bit of thin atmosphere into orbit. I may be wrong, as my knowledge on this was material read 4-5 years ago, but that seems to be what I remember.

Supposedly a nother great thing about scramjets is their simplicity, very few moving parts, which allows for high reliability. Or as high reliability as can be expected for something working under the strain of Mach 10.

Re:To Bad for the sonic Boom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792329)

How about NASA let the private sector build the space planes, and let NASA disband.

NASA is a waste of money. Funding NASA is stopping the private development of space vehicles. Why spend money developing your own space plane when a grossly over-funded NASA is your "competitor"? At that point you may as well become a contractor working for NASA.

Happily, congress should now have the votes to chop off NASA's head and give some more money back to the taxpayers.

Re:To Bad for the sonic Boom. (1)

Jameth (664111) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792234)

Yeah, we can already fly faster than their planes. Soon, though, we might be able to fly faster than their missiles. For that matter, we'll be able to fly faster than their bullets. Consider that the railguns the US is planning for its frigates have a muzzle velocity of mach 7.5. I think going mach 10 could come in real handy.

Re:To Bad for the sonic Boom. (1)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792352)

It would be easier to move over a little than try to outrun one.

spelling and grammar homework (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792285)

All (of) this extra speed
I think it would be a lot more interesting where (if) they
airplain
our enemies(') planes
which most were build (most of which were built)

Concorde??? (1)

FriedTurkey (761642) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792293)

The concorde [wikipedia.org] solved this by reaching mach speeds over the ocean. That is not why it failed. It failed because of the costs and lack of a significant market. I for one wouldn't mind saving $10,000 for spending an extra 10 hours on a plane.

Re:Concorde??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792408)

Actually, it failed because the design authority announced that they were withdrawing support. With no support from the DA, there can be no Certificate of Airworthiness, and hence no flights.

Once the UK and French governments had written off all the development costs, British Airways was able to make an operating profit from it. With only 14 functional airframes, it never needed that big a market.



Posting AC as I already moderated.

Re:To Bad for the sonic Boom. (2, Informative)

Kaboom13 (235759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792348)

The sonic boom is far from the only reason we dont have public Mach 1+ aircraft (except the concorde, now defunct). Every aircraft has an optimum speed for maximum fuel effeciency. This speed is below the speed of sound on every aircraft (well except maybe for aircraft designed to break speed barriers, but they burn fuel insanely fast even at optimum). Air craft fuel is expensive, and the more you have to carry the less you can lift (because you now have to lift the extra fuel on take-off). Faster than sound air travel will always be a luxury.

Re:Too Bad for the sonic Boom. (2, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792411)

Right now having an airplain that can go at Mach 10 is somewhat useless because we can already out fly our enemies planes which most were build during the cold war times.

First, we sill can not outfly some of the enemy's missiles and have to outmaneuver and/or outsmart them. Second, the faster we can go the farther we can fly on time. For example, the planes can be based on the comfortable island [tiscali.co.uk] but still be able to timely reach some of the theaters, where expensive and uncomfortable carriers have to be used now.

Lastly, using the technology for our missiles would be great too -- for example, once information comes in where a thug can be hit, this missile can reach his bunker in 20-30 minutes, rather than 2 hours. Not to mention the potential of replacing the "old-and-boring" ICBMs.

Re:To Bad for the sonic Boom. (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792428)

You could always use the sonic boom itself as a weapon. This crazy project [wikipedia.org] actually test fired a working nuclear-powered ramjet:

The proposed use for nuclear-powered ramjets would be to power an unmanned cruise missile, called SLAM, for Supersonic Low Altitude Missile ... Once powered up, the unshielded half-gigawatt nuclear reactor would emit highly lethal radiation in a large radius; such a vehicle could not possibly be human-piloted or reused. Indeed, some questioned whether a cruise missile derived from Project Pluto would need a warhead at all; the radiation from its engine, coupled with the shock wave that would be produced by flying at Mach 3 at treetop level, would have left a wide path of destruction wherever it went. Contrary to some reports, the exhaust of the engine would not itself be highly radioactive. Also, the nuclear engine could in principle operate for months, so a Pluto cruise missile could simply fly a long and winding pattern over enemy territory to cause incredible damage.

How does this compare to (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792047)

Warp 10?

Scramjets into F1 Racing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792048)

I am waiting for the day when those airbreathing scramjets will be incorporated into our Ferrari's, BMW's ... it will give a new dimension to F1 Racing ... we'll all have to watch the recordings at low frame rates!!
-bg-

In technical terms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792051)

... this is also known as "wicked f-ing fast".

First! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792052)

First Post!

wow (0, Redundant)

ViperG (673659) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792053)

Going straight to 10. From Mach 6.83 to 10! yeah thats pretty fast.

One step closer to (4, Funny)

jaguar5150 (822144) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792054)

Ludicrous Speed!

Re:One step closer to (1)

diqmay (773248) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792243)

and how long till plaid?

Diq

Re:One step closer to (1)

LabRat007 (765435) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792325)

I forget, is that faster then Plaid Speed?

Practical application (3, Funny)

darco (514434) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792056)

I'm all for fast cool stuff, and technical gadgetry, but anyone know of any practical uses for this? I mean, wouldn't it run into the same sonic boom issues as the concorde? Perhaps even worse?

Or is this just a method for getting something to go fast enough to put it into orbit without a rocket? (which would be quite useful)

Re:Practical application (3, Insightful)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792152)

I'm all for fast cool stuff, and technical gadgetry, but anyone know of any practical uses for this? I mean, wouldn't it run into the same sonic boom issues as the concorde? Perhaps even worse?

This would make an incredibly formidable cruise missile. You could launch it basically from anywhere in the world and it would arrive on target within a couple of hours. No near-deployment required.. you could launch it from your backyard in Nebraska. I'm all for peace, smiles and sunshine but the military uses for this are incredible.

Re:Practical application (1)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792404)

So, where would you keep all the fuel? Scramjets can produce a lot of thrust, and they can sustain very high speeds, but they are not efficient. The whole point of a cruise missile is that it cruises, that is to say it operates at very efficient speeds for maximum range.

Scramjets are less efficient than ramjets, much less efficient than turbojets, and way, way less efficient that the turbofans used in the longest-range cruise missiles and civilian aircraft. And what's worse is, you need some other form of propulsion to get to the speeds needed for scramjet operation.

Re:Practical application (1)

Birger Johansson (416220) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792298)

If you could build a big hypersonic Mach-10 craft it could be used as a first stage for a launcher.

An air-breathing first stage with a speed of 3-3.5 km/s could carry a cheap rocket that after separation takes a satellite all the way to orbit.

This is the opposite of the shuttle, who uses a low-tech first stage (the solid-fuel boosters) to carry a high-tech reusable last stage (the shuttle) which is so weighed down with heat shielding and aerodynamic structures that it cannot carry much to orbit.

Re:Practical application (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792430)

There's a lot of debate about what would be good applications, but the purpose of NASA is not necessarily to develop practical systems as the private sector can do that. NASA is tasked, among other things, to do the research that doesn't have an immediate financial return in order to keep the U.S. technologically competitive in the future.

Hmmmmm (1)

PhaxMohdem (809276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792059)

So this technology will be available for use in SUV's by mid 2005 right? Mach 10 Ford Escape. Sign me up!

Re:Hmmmmm (1)

Cobalt Jacket (611660) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792089)

That's quite a jump from a Mustang Mach 1.

Poor budget managment. (2, Insightful)

thoolie (442789) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792069)

It was my understanding that all of the scramjet technology and testing had been moved from NASA to the USAF. If that isn't the case, I really think that it is too bad that NASA is investing in this. I really feel that NASA has better things to spend our money on. The USAF has a HUGE budget, perhaps they should stop leaching off of other departments. (FYI, the DoD has a budget 10x that of the DoE, althought the DoE does most of the atomic/fission/fusion and particle research).

Overall, I wish they would just have projects done by the right agencies. E.G. Let the USAF do scramjet, free money up for NASA to do JIMO (and other cool things), and let the DoE do research on Fusion.

Just my thouights (please correct any inacurate data)

Re:Poor budget managment. (1)

Cobalt Jacket (611660) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792116)

"Leeching?" DARPA has their own budget which they have been using to fund the various projects they have taken over from NASA. And it's not as if USAF/DoD hasn't contributed directly and indirectly to both NASA and DoE in the past.

Re:Poor budget managment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792297)

How's NASA not the right agency to do this? They are the National Aeronautics and Space Administration after all. Just because space gets all the publicity doesn't mean they don't still do aeronautics.

NASA who? (-1, Flamebait)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792072)

Sorry guys, but you are now Burt Rutan's bitch.

Who needs ya? You were good in your day, but it aint that day anymore.

Re:NASA who? (1)

djbentle (553091) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792316)

Yeah, but imagine what Burt could do if the White Knight was powered by a scramjet and capable of mach 15 and much higher altitude.

He would be a lot closer to putting Space Ship One into orbit, although obviously he would have a little trouble getting it back in its current incarnation.

The B-52 (3, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792084)

The B-52, the American workhorse for over 50 years. So called 'Weapons of War' can be used for other, good purposes, like this.

Re:The B-52 (1)

K1-V116 (754806) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792435)

My father used to work on B-52s. Nice plane. :) 'Course, he always refered to 'em as "a collection of mis-matched parts flying in loose formation", but he meant it in the best possible way.

Miss ya, Dad. (Dead now 24 years to the day.)

Lets hope for success (2, Interesting)

CrashPanic (704263) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792103)

NASA really needs this technology. If it can be made practical it should largely solve the inexpensive-access-to-LEO problem tat has plagued us since the beginning of the space age.

Re:Lets hope for success (1)

Jonas the Bold (701271) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792394)

Except LEO is about 17,000 MPH, and this thing can only go about 7200. And a scramjet doesn't work until you're already going supersonic speeds.

So what you'd need for this craft is a jet engine or rocket to get you fast enough for the scramjet to kick in, which would then get you to 7,000 MPH, when a rocket has to kick in to get you the other 10,000 MPH and out of the atmosphere.

Basically such a craft would have to carry a regular jet engine, a scramjet, and a rocket, Or perhaps just a scramjet and a liquid fuel rocket to get you fast enough for the scramjet, when it would turn off and turn back off to get out of the atmosphere.

It could be a staged vehicle, however. A giant jetplane that drops the scramjet/rocket craft at supersonic speeds, which accellerates under scramjet, drops the scramjet and continues on under rocket power.

It could work, but it certainly doesn't make anything easy, nor eliminate the need for rockets.

Very Cool, But... (1, Redundant)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792168)

While I agree that an engine that's running at supersonic speeds on the *inside* is maybe the coolest engine ever built, I wonder what real-world application NASA sees in this.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this thing wouldn't work any better in space then the engine in my Volvo. If the only applictaion is high performance aircraft (Air Force Fighters) why isn't it being developed by DARPA, leaving NASAs (much smaller) budget for projects that might actually benefit space exploration?

Re:Very Cool, But... (2, Informative)

RetiredMidn (441788) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792342)

f the only applictaion is high performance aircraft (Air Force Fighters) why isn't it being developed by DARPA, leaving NASAs (much smaller) budget for projects that might actually benefit space exploration?

Well, NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration; this is well within the original (1915) charter of the organization, which was called the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) [nasa.gov] before space exploration was added to their role along with the name change in 1958.

Besides, this project is in the tradition of the X-1 thru the X-15, all NASA projects, IIRC. NASA drives the research, but it's private industry (Lockheed, Douglas-Martin, Boeing) that figures out how to build 'em, and we end up riding in better airliners, eventually.

Amazing new study finds Oxygen in atmosphere! (1)

Libertarian_Geek (691416) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792354)

What you're missing is this little boundry that has to be pierced on the way to space called "The Atmosphere". The idea which was mentioned in the article I read is to boost with a rocket up to where the scramjet can kick in, then, as you exit the atmosphere, another rocket kicks in. This could save some of the load where not as much liquid oxegen is needed for the launch. Sorry for the sarcasm. I can't help it, it's a speech impediment.

Re:Very Cool, But... (3, Interesting)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792359)

I think that if the theoretical parameters of the ideal scramjet play out in practice, they'll be a very efficient motor for getting things into low earth orbit.

Sure, they don't work outside the atmosphere, but what about a next-gen shuttle that develops most of its thrust during the scramjet phase, uses a small rocket motor to get that extra bit of velocity at the upper end, and still has enough room left over for some worthwhile payload?

I imagine that's the kind of thing NASA's interested in.

Space Ship Two, anyone?

Perfect cycle (3, Funny)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792174)

I'm sure this aircraft will create a lot of wind when it goes by. This wind can then be harnessed by windmills, which will produce electricity. The electricity can be used for electrolysis, producing hydrogen. The hydrogen can be converted into jet fuel. It's the perfect cycle!

Which will it be? (1)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792187)

"Watch out for that treeeeeeee....!"
  • -or-

"We can rebuild him. Make him better."

"Better?"

"Better, stronger .... faster!

Cchhcchhhooonnnggooonnnggooonnnggooonnngg.

Seemed appropriate... (1)

scribblej (195445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792210)

Stanley Spadowski: George, you know I was wondering, like if you were traveling through outer space, I mean like you're going real fast, like the speed of light, you know ...hoooohhhhh... and all of a sudden you started screaming ...aaaahhhhh aaaaahhhhh... Do you think your brain would blow up?

Bob: Guys, I'm trying to work... Do you mind?

Stanley Spadowski: I don't mind. Go right ahead... Do you mind, George?

Still less than 0.0001 Warp Speed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792218)

I was curious, so I checked here. [google.com]

Yeah But (1)

djxploit (748198) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792237)

what everyone wants to know is, what does it run the quater in

Final Flight (5, Interesting)

SimURL (822939) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792239)

If successful it would be a great accomplishment. However, according to this Wired article
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,65671, 00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3 [wired.com] ,
NASA is "phasing out its hypersonic engine program to free up funding for President Bush's 'Vision for Space Exploration,' which calls on NASA to focus its energy on sending humans to the moon and Mars."

Therefore,
"As of now, next week's X-43A flight is the final flight in the $230 million program."

I can't help but wonder if these priorities are correct as I'm not quite sure what we intend to do after we reach the moon and Mars.

10 is a dangerous number for speed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792257)

Next thing you know, the pilot will be bedridden with an unknown disease, grab his captain chick and leave again at that speed.

They'll subsequently be found to have mutated into giant lizards and will have made weird lizard babies together.

Impossible! (-1, Troll)

DarkHand (608301) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792291)

You can't break Mach 10, just like you can't break warp 10 [lisp-p.org] ! If you were traveling at Warp 10, you'd occupy all points in space at once. At Mach 10, would you occupy all the space in my iPod?

It blows my mind... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792312)

to think that mach 10 = this thing can go round the earth in 3.5 hours.

Re:It blows my mind... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792345)

to respond to my own post...

If "Schindlers List" was the in-flight movie, you wouldn't even get to the end of it before you'd gone right round the planet.

Blackbird and the Swedish fighter Viggen (4, Interesting)

3770 (560838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792393)

The U.S. Blackbird spy plane was _really_ fast when it came out. It is still probably one of the fastest aircrafts out there. Maybe still the fastest.

The Swedish fighter jet, Viggen (which is built by SAAB) was the first fighter plane to ever get a "lock" on the blackbird.

The Swedish radar systems got it on radar. The Viggen flew to intercept it with after burners on the whole time.

It got a lock on it and then had to turn back because it was out of fuel. There was of course never any intention of firing a missile, but still.

The black bird crew sent a box of chocolate to the Swedish air base and said "Congratulations!".

At least, this is what I heard. Whether it really is true, I couldn't tell you for sure.

dateline 21041115 NASA attempts flight at C8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10792417)

NASA's new $128 trillion SUX2100 is expected to successfully reach C8. The SUX2800 utilizes NASA's CAMC (light antimater*matter light) engine. /. posters complain that: -$128 trillion could provide 6 hobo's in rags and washer fluid for a year -because the neutrino cone will wipe out interstellar communications there is no practical use -it's a waste of energy when we only have a 10,000 year supply of deuterium reactor fuel left -it's not gonna cut their 10 hour Earth-Mars commute -it's just too damn fast -it might tear the fabric of space (democrats comment) -microsoft will never allow NASA to license the technology because it will compete with their legacy C2 product -it doesn't have a good beat and you can't dance to it

Don't forget the Delta IV (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 9 years ago | (#10792431)

Don't forget the Delta IV heavy launch, whose latest postponement has it lifting off on Nov 18. This should be the most powerful rocket to lift off from the area of land between Bermuda and Hawaii since the 70's. It's supposed to be able to hurl 48,000 lbs of payload to low Earth orbit, almost 1/4 the capacity of the Saturn V. What an accomplishment.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?