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"We have made great progress and are on track for the first glided hypersonic test vehicle flight in 2007," said Russ Partch, the Falcon HTV-1 manager. "It will enable a revolutionary capability to quickly respond to events anywhere around the world."
Planned for a less than one-hour flight in September 2007, the Falcon HTV-1 is set to complete its inaugural voyage over the Pacific Ocean. Attaining Mach 19, the vehicle will briefly exit the Earth's atmosphere and re-enter flying between 19 and 28 miles above the planet's surface. Demonstrating hypersonic glide technology and setting the stage for HTV-2 represent the primary focus of the lower risk, lower performance initial flight.
For the second demonstration, scheduled for 2008 or 2009, the Falcon HTV-2 will feature a different structural design, enhanced controllability and higher risk performance factors during its high-speed journey. Like its predecessor, the system will reach Mach 22 and then finish its one-hour plus mission over the Pacific Ocean.
In addition, the HTV-3, flying at Mach 10, will be designed to achieve high aerodynamic efficiency and to validate external heat barrier panels that will be reusable.
Originally posted by American Mad Man
Sweet, this thing is being built like 15 minutes away from my house!