London, Nov 05 (ANI): Sydney may soon be just 2 hours 30 mins away from New York compared to 21 hours it is now, for NASA is planning to develop 'hypersonic' passenger jets that would travel at five times the speed of sound.
These jets would fly through the Earth's atmosphere and slash flight times around the world to a few hours at most.
The US space agency wants to manufacture a craft that would travel at five times the speed of sound and bring in a new age of aircraft akin to a turbo-charged Concorde, reports the Daily Mail.The project is thought to be aimed at making a reusable aircraft that could fly to Mars but, as with previous space technology, it could have a huge impact upon passenger transport too.
Under the NASA Aeronautics 2010 proposal, the space agency will allocate 5million dollars per year for the next three years to make the new aircraft a reality.
According to the proposal, engineers will look into 'entry, descent and landing of high-mass vehicles entering into planetary atmospheres' and 'airbreathing access to space.'
The proposal says: "The hypersonic heating environment, coupled with the emphasis on reusability, creates additional severe technology challenges for materials, material coatings, and structures that not only carry the aerodynamic loads of the air but also repeatedly sustain high thermal loads requiring long-life and durability while minimizing weight.
"Space access launch vehicles must be lightweight, fully reusable and easily maintained if low-cost access to space is to be achieved." (ANI)