A companion site for my main blog, Byzantium's Shores:
Just another place
where I indulge my
books, music, Star Wars,
Tolkien, food, astronomy,
Buffalo and Western New York,
cats, oddities, conundra, apocrypha,
serious thoughts, dreaming ruminations,
and pies in the face,
all of it in my trusty bib overalls.
Many people object to “wasting money in space” yet have no idea how much is actually spent on space exploration. The CSA’s budget, for instance, is less than the amount Canadians spend on Halloween candy every year, and most of it goes toward things like developing telecommunications satellites and radar systems to provide data for weather and air quality forecasts, environmental monitoring and climate change studies. Similarly, NASA’s budget is not spent in space but right here on Earth, where it’s invested in American businesses and universities, and where it also pays dividends, creating new jobs, new technologies and even whole new industries.
The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.
This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.