US President Donald Trump approved US$819 million for supersonic research, a big boost from the US$25.9 billion budget for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
This amount is higher than the US$783 million NASA had requested. The US space agency is developing a new supersonic jet codenamed X-59 with airplane manufacturer Lockheed. The jet is expected to be the first supersonic jet that will cross the poles within hours.
With this budget, NASA and its partners would be able to develop cutting-edge research on the commercial use of the aircraft, all-electric airplanes and development of unmanned aerial system that will make flying small drones safer and more efficient in the 21st century.
In the request, the agency continues its funding for the plane, dubbed the X-59 QueSST, for “Quiet Supersonic Transport,” an experimental aircraft that is being designed and built to travel faster than the speed of sound while only creating “low booms,” or ultra-quiet sonic booms. The X-plane is expected to make its debut flight in 2022.