Last week, DARPA’s HTV-2 (Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2) Falcon vehicle launched to near-orbital speeds aboard a Minotaur rocket before beginning what was designed to be a Mach 20 glide back to earth, demonstrating the kind of hypersonic capability needed to deliver a payload anywhere in the world in an hour. Then, a few minutes into its flight, HTV-2’s data transmitters went silent and so did the DARPA news stream feeding us the play-by-play.
Update: DARPA has gone silent regarding HTV-2, but its safe to assume at this point that contact with the hypersonic Falcon vehicle was lost before it fulfilled all of its mission objectives. No word yet on just how much data was collected or how many objectives were completed. More as this develops.
Military hardware has orbited Earth for decades, but no actual weapons have ever been deployed in space. That may change soon and it may launch a major space race
By Dawn Stover
Posted 10.28.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
So this is how the war in space might begin: not with a bang but a clank. On April 15, more than 450 miles above Earth, an experimental NASA spacecraft called DART (Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology) fired its thrusters and closed in on a deactivated U.S. military communications satellite–and then gently bumped into it.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.