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DARPA says it lost contact with its HTV-2 hypersonic test vehicle 9min after launch of the dart-like glider atop a Minotaur IV Lite booster from Vandenberg. The agency's brief press release says the Minotaur successfully delivered its payload to the desired separation conditions and deployed the HTV-2, so telemetry was lost after the unpowered vehicle was released at the edge of the atmosphere.
One possibility is that a sheath of plasma that would form around the vehicle as it reentered the atmosphere at Mach 20-plus could have interfered with telemetry. But in an interview with Aviation Week before the flight, DARPA program manager Paul Erbland said the risk of ionized gases attentuating signals from the vehicle was "relatively modest", particulary at the high altitude the HTV-2 was deployed.
Originally posted by Illuminati_2012
No video or picture?
The chinese tv media should have a video or any proof....
Originally posted by cloudbreak
It would have been helpful if the blogger in tuscon stated which "media" specifically is reporting this new sighting.