World’s Largest Airplane’s First-Ever Flight

Weighing 500,000 pounds and boasting two fuselages and a wingspan of 385 feet, Stratolaunch‘s behemoth of a plane—which will launch rockets into Earth’s orbit—took flight for the first time ever this past weekend. Taking off from the Mojave Air and Space Port, the Stratolaunch ascended to 15,000 feet, reaching speeds up to 175 MPH, before landing successfully two hours later. “It was an emotional moment …

Supersonic Aircraft’s Shockwaves Shot by NASA

The first-ever images of two shockwaves interacting, taken by NASA, appeared online this week. These photos—shot using a 150-year-old German technique—are some of the first of supersonic flights in the air and not in a wind tunnel. Seeing how the shockwaves interact with one another and on their own, NASA may be able to reduce the noisiness of sonic booms—the result of pressure changes when …