US hypersonic glider launched

2011-08-11 21:34

Los Angeles - A rocket carrying an experimental unmanned hypersonic glider has been launched from an air base on the central California coast.

The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency used Twitter to announce the launch on Thursday morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base 209km northwest of Los Angeles.

The rocket is carrying the agency's experimental Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2, which is supposed to separate from the booster at the edge of space and manoeuvre through the atmosphere at 20 921km/h before diving into the ocean.

A similar vehicle was launched last year and returned nine minutes of data before contact was prematurely lost.

The US military is trying to develop technology to respond to threats around the globe at speeds of Mach 20 or greater.

  • Martin du Plessis - 2011-08-11 21:52

    Mach 20. wow

  • adam.leighton - 2011-08-11 21:57

    So much is spent on missions out of space that achieves so little, and so little is spent on earth that could do so much... its a sad state of affairs.

      shmangle - 2011-08-12 09:41

      Cry us a river there Adam. It doesn't matter how much we focus on Earth, humans will always live beyond their means, having more kids than they can afford, putting up with governments that live in luxury while the masses suffer. It's the human condition. It'll never change, so we may as well explore space, if we ever get to the point where space travel is economical, and colonisation is possible, it may be the only thing that saves the human race. Not saying it'll happen for sure, but one thing is for sure, we're running out of resources, and we aren't breeding any slower. The exact opposite in fact. We're heading towards our own destruction if we carry on this way.

  • JohnnySolo - 2011-08-12 03:50

    God help the rest of the world if the warmongering Americans get anything like this actually working. Fortunately though, the US economy is in such dire straits that it will probably implode soon. Yay!

      jody.beggs - 2012-03-07 14:35

      God who ? Damn the man.

  • tommy 2 - 2011-08-12 05:30

    Now the world can see why there Economy is crumbling. Spend money on utter nonsense because they want to be the worlds police.

  • stephen scott - 2011-08-12 09:29

    no pictures?

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