I am making my way from Santa Clara to back to Mojave this afternoon. It’s a trip that will take about five hours and cover roughly 300 miles, but the distance traveled cannot be measured solely in time and distance. Instead, it is a voyage between two very different cultures.
Silicon Valley is a green, leafy place with shiny office buildings where talented engineers sit in cubicles writing software that makes billions of dollars. That software has helped to make user-friendly computers ubiquitous and connected the world via the Internet.
Silicon Valley has long since transitioned from the days where engineers labored in garages to produce the first personal computers. Most of the hardware production has all be shipped away to be done by low-wage workers in distant locales.
Scaled Compositesâ€™ White Knight One and White Knight Two aircraft will be making a rare public appearance at the Edwards Air Force Base â€œFlight Test Nation 2009â€ Air Show and Open house on October 17, 2009.
The Department of Defense and NASA plan to conduct high-altitude flight tests of advanced scram-jet technology beginning in 2011 that could lead to high-speed aircraft and next-generation space vehicles.
“The types of aircraft studied…are one-of-a kind research aircraft that will be developing new capabilities to fly efficiently at high speed within the atmosphere using supersonic combustion ramjet engines (Scramjet),” according to a description of the program.