TG Daily reports DARPA will be testing the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 between 7:00am and 1:00 pm PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, on board an Air Force Minotaur IV rocket. This experimental craft can fly at 20 times the speed of sound, giving it the capability to reach anywhere in the world within an hour. The first test flight was done in April 2010, after just nine minutes the Air Force lost contact with the craft, after which it made a controlled descent into the ocean.
And success is by no means a done deal: on the vehicle's first test flight in April last year, the Air Force lost contact just nine minutes in, with the vehicle making a controlled descent into the ocean.
"Assumptions about Mach 20 hypersonic flight were made from physics-based computational models and simulations, wind tunnel testing, and data collected from HTV-2’s first test flight — the first real data available in this flight regime at Mach 20," says Air Force major Chris Schulz, the HTV-2 program manager.
"It’s time to conduct another flight test to validate our assumptions and gain further insight into extremely high Mach regimes that we cannot fully replicate on the ground."