Supersonic speed would allow travelers to cut significantly their travel time, but due to the resulting sonic booms, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and similar bodies restrict supersonic travel to transoceanic only. To solve this problem, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. (Savannah, GA) partnered with NASA Dryden in an investigation of the Quiet Spike, a sonic- boom suppressor. Leslie Molzahn was part of DrydenÂ’s investigative team.

“There could be a huge commercial application [of the Quiet Spike] if the sonic boom can be mitigated to have less impact on people and resources on the ground,” noted Molzahn. “One could potentially get the FAA to lift their restrictions.”

Read the “Who's Who at NASA” interview with Leslie Molzahn on page 10 of the May issue, or click here .