I find this rather amusing.
Thanks for bringing it to light.
"It's so stealth, WE can't even find it!"
Mach 20??!! Well... that's WAY past 88 MPH and since it's the Air Force I bet they have a flux capacitor AND are able to generate 1.21 gigawatts. And I think we ALL knows what happens when you have a flux capacitor generating 1.21 gigawatts at 88 MPH....
They shouldn't have gone to Ludicrous Speed so early...
Originally posted by samureyed
Mach 20?! No wonder they lost it... I can't believe we're even testing something that can travel that fast. Does anyone know the technology behind this thing?
2. Do the HTV-2 vehicles have onboard propulsion or are they unpowered?
HTV-2 is an unmanned, rocket-launched maneuverable hypersonic air vehicle (with no on-board propulsion system) that flies through the Earth’s atmosphere at incredibly fast speeds – Mach 20 and above.
Originally posted by BlackProjects
I guess that is a piloted vehicle..anyone know? At those speeds I doubt parachuting is an option.
Originally posted by getreadyalready
So the X37, and now this one have both just disappeared?
The Minotaur IV has seen some delays. It was discovered that a gas generator in the 3rd stage of the rocket would produce unintended thrust after the motor burned out. Engineers had to go back and design a new diffuser to reduce that unintended thrust, which then delayed the debut of the rocket itself. Projects such as the Space Based Space Surveillance Satellite or SBSS have been delayed since October of last year due to the Minotaur IV issues. This setback has caused a cascading delay for military satellite deployment. Some satellites have been moved to other launch vehicles such as the Delta II while others have had to wait for the Minotaur IV configuration to be fixed. Now that the Air Force and Orbital have been able to successfully launch the Minotaur IV, it is expected that they will be able to catch up on that backlog.
While the launch itself was a success, the payload, not so much. Aboard the Minotaur IV Light was DARPA’s Hypersonic test vehicle. The payload was known as the Falcon HTV-2a Glide Vehicle and is designed to re-enter the atmosphere and fly across the Pacific Ocean at speeds of around 13,000 miles per hour, or 20,000 kilometers per hour. The HTV was supposed to test technologies that could eventually be employed by a system capable of prompt global response missions. Well, that was the plan at least.
The vehicle was released from the Minotaur’s third stage and it looks like Orbital’s rocket did deliver the HTV glide vehicle and separate as planned, but something went wrong. The craft was supposed to try out its aerodynamic control systems, do a bunch of turns to burn off some energy and then glide over the Pacific Ocean at that awesome 13,000 miles per hour before splashing down in the sea near the US Army’s Regan Test Site. Unfortunately, Tracking systems lost contact with the Falcon HTV-2a around 9 minutes after liftoff. DARPA has not yet said if any of the HTVs mission objectives were completed before communications with the craft were lost. Hehe, oops.