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Watch NASA's supersonic X-59 jet come together in Lockheed Martin's new video

NASA's new X-59 supersonic jet is coming together quickly after its latest pit stop in California.

Engineers at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works facility in Palmdale talked about the work of the forthcoming quiet supersonic flyer in a new YouTube video (opens in new tab), released a few weeks after the jet arrived in April after stress tests in Fort Worth, Texas.

The X-59 supersonic jet video, which Lockheed posted Wednesday (May 10), opens with an incredible timelapse showing the jet coming together within view of a large team of technicians, seeking to make supersonic flight more silent than ever before.

While previous generations of such aircraft, such as Concorde, were known to rattle windows when flying over the speed of sound, the X-59, NASA has said previously, should be no more noisy than a car door slamming 20 feet (6 meters) away. 

In photos: Amazing X-Planes from the X-1 to XV-15 

The X-59 is lowered to the ground at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California following a crane operation to remove it from the back of its transport. (Image credit: NASA/Lauren Hughes)

The video also features project engineers talking about everything from fuel rates, to design testing, to making sure that the modeling for the flight's cruise phase is within lines of expectations (and so far, it appears to be.)

"While the aircraft is being built here in Palmdale, we've had fantastic support from across the country," Michael Buonanno, X-59 air vehicle engineering lead, said in the video.

Assuming the initial flight schedule goes to plan, NASA aims to test its X-59 over several communities in the United States starting in 2024.

"NASA's goal is to collect and provide data to regulators that may finally solve the sonic boom challenge and open the future to commercial supersonic flight over land, reducing flight times drastically," the agency said in an April 18 statement (opens in new tab).

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.