NASA said last week it is exploring the possibility of building a supersonic passenger jet that may make transatlantic journeys up to four times as fast, two decades after the supersonic airliner Concorde took its last flight.

According to a recent NASA study, there is a market for supersonic travel on some 50 established trans-oceanic routes, the space agency said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Such flights would travel between Mach 2 and Mach 4 (2,450-4,770 kilometers per hour), which could result in 90-minute flights between New York and London. Regular passenger planes reach 965 kilometers per hour — 80 percent of the speed of sound — resulting in eight-hour-long transatlantic trips.

NASA’s Advanced Air Vehicles Program (AAVP) has granted 12-month contracts to two teams to develop concepts for a potential supersonic craft, the agency’s post read.

Boeing is leading the first team, with partners Exosonic, GE Aerospace, Georgia Tech Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory, Rolls-Royce North American Technologies, and others, NASA said.

Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems is leading the second team, with its partners Blue Ridge Research and Consulting, Boom Supersonic, and Rolls-Royce North American Technologies.

As part of its QueSST mission, NASA is also working on a “quiet supersonic aircraft” — the X-59 — with long-time partner Lockheed Martin.

It hopes the new craft will solve the problem of loud sonic booms. The Concorde made such shock waves during its service, causing damage to property and the environment below.

Due to the noise, the US and other countries banned supersonic flights overland. NASA is aiming to convince regulators to change their rules with data collected from its project.

During its era, the Concorde, which flew at Mach 2, ferried passengers between New York and London in about three hours.

According to Source of photos: internet