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.
What looked to be a successful second launch of DARPA's Falcon HTV-2 hypersonic vehicle has potentially taken a turn for the worse if DARPA's Twitter feed is any indication. After successful launch, separation, contact with handlers on the ground, and entry into glide phase, the last we heard from DARPA via @DARPA_News doesn't seem to bode well: "Range assets have lost telemetry with #HTV2. More to follow."
That was almost an hour ago at the time of this posting, and more has not followed. So we don't know if that translates to a fully successful flight or to some kind of vehicle failure. We'll update here when we have more info.
HTV-2 was developed with one straightforward objective in mind: travel from anywhere on Earth to anywhere else on Earth in an hour. And with that goal in mind, DARPA has engineered a very fast vehicle. HTV-2 rides to near orbital speeds aboard a Minotaur rocket at which point it separates and enters a powered glide phase as it rides back to Earth at speeds topping Mach 20. That's roughly 13,000 miles per hour (reportedly it is capable of a top speed approaching 17,000 miles per hour). In other words, fast enough to do New York to L.A. in 12 minutes, or London to Sydney in the aforementioned 60 minutes.
All that is easier said than done, though the benefits doing so aren't difficult to articulate. One could deliver anything from cargo to warheads to (potentially) people with such a hypersonic vehicle, and HTV-2 is DARPA's means of testing the technologies that could someday shrink the entire world to a one-hour journey.
Those technologies, however, are complex and as yet difficult to harness, and this wouldn't be the first Falcon vehicle to end its mission early. During a test flight back in April of last year, DARPA's first Falcon vehicle was lost nine minutes after launch. It was successfully delivered to its starting point, but engineers lost contact with the vehicle and a failsafe program put it into a controlled dive straight into the ocean.
But DARPA describes the vehicle as a "data truck" due to its heavy sensor payload, and even an abbreviated flight drastically informs the field of hypersonic flight. The agency's engineers used the data collected from that failed first attempt to tweak the design of their new HTV-2 and its mission, lowering the angle of attack and adjusting its center of gravity.
Those adjustments seemed to be working early in today's flight, and maybe they worked all the way through. When DARPA tells us something, we'll tell you. In the meantime, brush up on HTV-2 via a mashup of DARPA vids below.
What's this? Metal kite just landed in my backyard. Slap a troling motor on her and I got me a new fishin' boat...
Gentlemen, we have successfully achieved warp speed!
Thanks for reminding us you have a blank check DARPA, now where are you on that cold fusion reactor?
Aliens. It was the aliens, man. The government is getting too powerful so the aliens finally stepped in. They took it. Right from under our noses. And now the gov't wants to cover it up, man. They're gunna feed us lies and say it hit weather balloon or that solar fares burned the wiring. The aliens, man, they're getting scared. Snatching up and vigorously probing our women and children and now our weapons! The end is closer than I thought.
Go Speed Racer! Go Speed Racer! Go Speed Racer GOoooo! Sorry, I digress, lol.
"HTV-2 was developed with one straightforward objective in mind: travel from anywhere on Earth to anywhere else on Earth in an hour."
Maybe better if it fails, as the sole objective of the project was developing a vehicle to carry NUKES, from anywhere on Earth to anywhere else on Earth in an hour - not people or peaceful cargo.
I'm surprised this wasn't a classified project from the start but hearing that it failed doesn't shock me. It just means that now Darpa or the Air Force can claim this project was a failure and lets them supposedly stop work on it. This would allow them to further develop it in secret.
Just an FYI this project was specifically started by DARPA to not carry nukes. I'm not saying it isn't capable but the payload is not nearly the same as an ICBM. Furthermore, this project is to tactically strike insurgent strong holds from a distance without the use of ICBM's. This is important because an ICBM even without a nuclear warhead could spark a nuclear war due to missle detection by Russia or China. So ... before comments on it being a "sole objective" ensure all your facts are right.
Does it matter if a nuke gets to you fast or slow. If it gets into the country and to its target unknown by the locals, it would not matter if it came packed on a goat. ".....The M-28 or M-29 Davy Crockett Weapon System(s) was a tactical nuclear recoilless gun for firing the M388 nuclear projectile that was deployed by the United States during the Cold War. Named after American soldier, congressman, and folk hero Davy Crockett, it was one of the smallest nuclear weapon systems ever built..."
I think this is a very cool article about a new plane. I love to fly!
Yah, it would be pretty pointless to develop this for nukes considering modern ICBMs already travel FASTER than this already. I'm pretty sure they can reach virtually any target in under 30 minutes. This has got to be geared more towards spying or small payload precision strikes like current drones are.
current icbms hit 15,000 mph. this could reach 17,000 mph. its not new. not even close. this is a gimmick for the public. a black budget aircraft supposedly built in the 80s called the aurora, shaped exactly like this, flown exactly like this, was the first hypersonic aircraft. its just a rumored aircraft....since the 80s. same story went for the stealth fighter
The X-15 rocket plane is route NASA should have taken instead of the rocket which has never worked from it's beginning centuries ago the Auroa or the X-37 military shuttle should have been ready to take over after the Space Shuttle retirement but no Congress ax the X-38 then the X-30 Scram Jet now again the military is testing it's new toy the HTV-2.
Someone, somewhere, is wondering what the hell just crashed into their living room.
duct tape is like the force, it has a light side, a dark side, and it binds the universe together.
maybe just maybe they are allowing it to "crash" then they can recover it later and not really give any info. they may have had this tech for 30 years already but at some point you have to roll out the advances for the public. but that's only crazy conspiracy talk and i try to stay away from that.
also i think fusion power could be brought forward at a much faster rate, but then.....what would they do with all this now useless oil. econ minor so i understand how corporations and the govt think; in dollar signs. how would they gain from cheap renewable energy? at least in relation to the billions in profit they currently get. but on the bright side when its all gone we'll get a little solar and wind maybe ^_^
on a side note, i wonder if this could ever be combined with a railgun mechanism of some sort. instead of trying to get a projectile moving from rest lets just punch this sucker through there mid flight
As stated a billion times over beefymclovin, the aurora was NEVER a supersonic plane. Aurora was the secret code name that appeared in government documents detailing the budget. The secret code name was for the B-2 Spirit during development, not some super fast plane. Whatever people mistake for Aurora, does not have a public name, nor has it ever appeared in budget papers since it would be hidden.
DARPA should emulate the alien chemtrail spacecraft that flies slightly out of dimension. Then there is no atmospheric turbulence to interfere with the flight control systems.
I know how!
So many comment's and in everyone have pease of true!!!
...The true is out there...
...And in everyone!
Why they (DARPA) make the same like NASA?!?
And why we must travel for 60 min. to the Earth, when we may travel for 60 min. to Mars???
...With the same prize... ;)
That looks so much like the Icarus from Planet of the Apes.
thats one hot glider
the problem with the m28 davy crockett was that the maximum range was inside the blast radius. its more of a suicide weapon
Psh. This was done back in the 80's.