News Roundup: NASA Will Test Quieter Supersonic Flight Over Galveston
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The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
NASA plans to test quieter supersonic booms over Texas this year. A sonic boom is the shock waves and thundering noise produced when an object travels through the air faster than the speed of sound.
NASA has been working with Lockheed Martin to create a new plane that would make more of a sonic thump, than a sonic boom.
But while that technology is still in development, supersonic jets will be used to simulate these softer booms over Galveston in November.
You can watch a video of previous test flights here.
At least 500 residents around Galveston will be asked to provide feedback about what they’ve heard, if anything, during the test flights.
Storms rained out many of Houston’s Independence Day celebrations, and officials say people need to watch the weather for the rest of the week. Francisco Sanchez with Harris County Emergency Management says this time of year things can change quickly on the Gulf Coast.
“Just a reminder that we’re in hurricane season but we’re also in regular storm, summer storm season,” Sanchez says. “So always be watchful. Stayed tuned with the forecast. And when something like this happens please stay posted with your local emergency management officials.”
Some parts of Houston received 7 to 8 inches of rain. The Austin area also saw some heavy rain yesterday, making it the wettest Fourth of July since 1976.
Fire crews are still working to put out a blaze in Palo Pinto County, which is about 60 miles west of Fort Worth.
Lightning is thought to be the cause of what’s been dubbed the “Surprise Fire” that’s been burning since Monday.
Erin O’Connor with the Texas A&M Forest Service says crews made some progress last night.
“They were able to get some good line on it, and then the weather started helping us out as the night wore on. Our humidities rose and our temperatures. So that was really beneficial to kind of slow the spread of the fire,” O’Connor says.
As of this morning, the wildfire is about 40 percent contained.
O’Connor says today’s goal for fire fighters is clear.
They’re going to improve the fire line that they already put in. I know that our aerial resources are going to help us button up some spots we might be concerned about — some areas that we haven’t touched yet — and kind of work some hot spots in the interior,” she says.
The wildfire covers nearly 5,000 acres.
Palo Pinto County has enacted a disaster declaration. Neighboring Johnson, Hood, Parker and Erath counties also enacted burn bans due to the dry conditions.