DARPA loses hypersonic glider on its maiden voyage

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Depending on how things went, this could have been an article detailing another one of DARPA's insane projects spreading its wings. Sadly, the maiden voyage of the agency's Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (or HTV-2) didn't go so smoothly.

The HTV-2 is a hypersonic glider, capable of traveling at speeds of over Mach 20. That's pretty damn fast, and maybe a little too fast, as nine minutes into its maiden voyage, whatever satellite or ground-based solution tracking the glider couldn't keep up and contact was lost.

The HTV-2 is designed to allow for "prompt global strike" options, or being able to deliver a payload of conventional weapons anywhere in the world in under an hour. It'd glide through the Earth's atmosphere, making it mighty hard to shoot down, and there's also the added benefit that other nations wouldn't mistake it for a nuclear missile.

Ideally, DARPA was looking for the autopilot test to see the HTV-2 through a series of maneuvers that would help it bleed off some energy while banking and turning, and then perform a controlled dive into the water. The agency will try again in 2011, when a second test is scheduled for the craft.

More links:

Supposedly this happened a week ago, how much you want to bet it was actually two weeks ago:

Meteorite my ass, what if that was the glider? O_O

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just what we need, more war toys :disgust:


                                               Look at the flowers

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    • By Sledgstone
      The Air Force lost their second Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle.. umm.. what if it turns out that this plane is just all bs? and the fact that they lost 2 of them means that someone was able to pocket $170 million for each of these?
      ahaha... anyway.. I'm sure they're real.. and these things could be monstrously deadly.. traveling at 13,000 mph.. The US could send a bomb anywhere in the world within a half hour.