Friday, August 12, 2011

Pentagon's Falcon HTV-2 Goes Missing on Test Flight

Ground controllers lost contact August 11th with the Pentagon's Falcon HTV-2 Hypersonic test platform, which is capable of speeds in excess of 20x the speed of sound, less than 30 minutes into its test flight.

Launched atop of a Minotaur IV rocket made by Orbital Sciences Corp. at 7:45 a.m. local time from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, DARPA controllers announced at around 8:22 local time, engineers “lost telemetry” with the aircraft. Controllers said later that day that the HTV-2 had "transitioned" to mach 20 where it continued to fly for an additional nine minutes under full control and telemetry, until, as it was put, an anomaly caused loss of signal..... don't you just love euphemisms?

Even though this could be viewed as a failure, this test flight was 3x longer than the previous 9 minutes of operation before the test bed drone crashed into the Pacific.

The Pentagon's HTV-2 test plane's design will allow a non-nuclear response to threats anywhere in the world, within one hour.

As crazy as a 1 hour anywhere in the world hypersonic bomb might seem, It wasn't the Bush administration's first choice. Rearming nuclear tipped Trident missile submarine with conventional explosives was.


JoshM said...

So to summarize, we don't know where it is, we've lost control of it, and it's still out there somewhere.

I think anyone who watches sci-fi TV and movies has to know this can't end well.

Beam Me Up said...

ummm yep, that's pretty much it...cept this is the SECOND one....uhuh...anywhere on earth in a hour x2 swell....