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Marny Skora

Air Force Expert Advances Hypersonics as Key to Future Travel

HAMPTON, Va. - At five times the speed of sound, hypersonic flight offers promise for major advancements in travel around and beyond planet Earth.

Hypersonic propulsion technology may ultimately enable access to space via an airplane-like vehicle rather than a conventional launcher. The same technology may also lead to high-speed cruise missiles that offer rapid response and are virtually invulnerable.

Dr. Mark J. Lewis, chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force, will discuss some of the challenges of high-speed flight as well as U.S. Air Force interest in hypersonics, some recent accomplishments and ongoing programs on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. in the NASA Langley Research Center Reid Conference Center. Dr. Lewis will give a similar briefing for the general public at 7:30 p.m. at the Virginia Air & Space Center, downtown Hampton.

Media who wish to interview Dr. Lewis at a press briefing at 1:15 p.m. Thursday should contact Marny Skora at 864-3315 or 344-6111 (mobile) by noon for credentials and entry to the Center.

Dr. Lewis serves as the chief science adviser to the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Air Force, providing assessments on a wide range of scientific and technical issues affecting the Air Force mission. He is currently on leave from his position as professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland and as director of the Space Vehicles Technology Institute, College Park, Md.

For the past 19 years, Dr. Lewis has conducted basic and applied research in and taught many aspects of hypersonic aerodynamics, advanced propulsion, space vehicle design and optimization. His work has spanned the aerospace flight spectrum from the analysis of conventional jet engines to entry into planetary atmospheres at hypervelocity speeds.

Educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he is author of more than 200 publications and is active in numerous national and international professional societies.


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