NASA's groundbreaking X-59 QueSST (Quiet SuperSonic Tech) supersonic commercial jet, developed by Lockheed Martin, is set to undergo a live-streamed test flight as part of NASA's mission to demonstrate its minimal noise impact.
Valued at $247.5 million, the QueSST aims to prove its ability to fly over urban areas without generating noise pollution or sonic booms.
The livestream, scheduled for January 12 at 4 pm ET, will showcase the QueSST emerging from Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California.
Viewers can tune in on YouTube, the NASA app, and the NASA+ streaming service.
NASA plans to engage with the audience by surveying their perceptions of the jet's noise during the flight, with collected data informing regulatory proposals for supersonic flight limitations.
The U.S. federal government has long prohibited civilian supersonic jets from flying over land due to sonic boom concerns.
NASA's quiet supersonic technology initiative, launched in 2018, envisions transforming aviation by addressing noise challenges.
Although initially slated for a 2021 debut, the upcoming test marks a pivotal moment in the six-year QueSST project.
NASA anticipates conclusive insights into the aircraft's noise reduction efficacy by 2027. If regulatory changes permit supersonic flight near land, it could revolutionize high-speed commercial air travel.
Following safety evaluations over nine months, NASA plans to expand flight tests to U.S. cities, collecting additional noise impact data through public surveys.