Thursday, April 29, 2010

US military's HyperSonic vehicle missing

DARPA's latest project, a vehicle capable of traveling at 20 Mach known as the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2), has gone missing after a test launch. Hope this doesn't set back the project too much.


The HTV-2 was launched last week aboard a Minotaur IV rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The test flight called for a 30-minute mission in which the vehicle would glide at high speed before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, north of a US military test site at the Kwajalein Atoll.

The glider separated from the booster but soon after the signal vanished, a spokeswoman said.

"Preliminary review of data indicates the HTV-2 achieved controlled flight within the atmosphere at over Mach 20. Then contact with HTV-2 was lost," Johanna Spangenberg Jones, a spokeswoman for DARPA, told AFP.

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