The globally renowned US space agency NASA has brought the first all-electric X-plane, X-57 Mod II, at its California-based Armstrong Flight Research Center and is curious to initiate testing of the space vehicle. While testing, the space agency would thoroughly evaluate the innovative technologies integrated into the space vehicle, particularly the rocket’s electric propulsion system. Besides this, NASA intends to share “crucial testing results” to notify the emerging electric aircraft market.
At the initial level, the space agency will carry out ground tests on the electric-powered space vehicle, and eventually conducting flight tests. However, NASA has not specified any timeline regarding when and for how long it will perform the tests. Unlike the Mod II X-plane, the succeeding models Mod III and IV will configure wings.
NASA has stated that it would publicize all the information obtained through the test performance of the electric propulsion system equipped in the X-plane and will also reveal other efficient ways for successfully launching the all-electric aircraft. Apart from this, the space agency is likely to participate actively in developing new regulatory standards for electric aircraft, including EVTOL (electric vehicle takeoff and landing) vehicles.
On a related note, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket would carry Intuitive Machines-manufactured robotic Nova-C lander to the lunar surface, announced by the spokespersons of both the space companies last week. They also mentioned that NASA would sponsor this 2021-scheduled flight.
In May 2019, NASA selected Astrobotic Technology, Orbit Beyond, and Intuitive Machines, for constructing lander that would carry the space agency’s payloads safely and effectively on the lunar surface. The agency has also set the budgets for the three space companies: $79.5 Million for Astrobotic Technology, $97 Million for Orbit Beyond, and $77 Million for Intuitive Machines.
Nova-C would support NASA in accomplishing Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program by carrying equipment and devices for the space agency.