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DARPA Loses Contact With Hypersonic Glider

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the shout-faster dept.

The Military 194

x_IamSpartacus_x writes "DARPA says contact with its experimental hypersonic glider was lost after launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast. The agency says in Twitter postings that its unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 was launched Thursday atop a rocket, successfully separated from the booster and entered the mission's glide phase. The agency says telemetry was subsequently lost, but released no details."

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Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059398)

How many lives were lost?!?!?

Re:Oh no! (3, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059470)

Cover story. SkyNet is now operational.

Re:Oh no! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059882)

Cover story. SkyNet is now operational.

Let's see. Predictable? Check. Adds no new information (see: predictable)? Check. Said before many, many times? Check.

This fits the three tests for -1 Redundant. Even if I thought this was amusing I'd still mod it down.

Re:Oh no! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059926)

His UID has 3 digits. Your argument is invalid.

Re:Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059996)

Just because he's been a douchebag for a really long time doesn't make him any less of a douchebag.

Re:Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059492)

half a dozen as the engineering team was downsized and suicided.

Re:Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059538)

How many Billions were lost?

Re:Oh no! (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059740)

Hey! Fuck you! We NEED a mach 20 military vehicle to respond to ... stuff.

Re:Oh no! (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060944)

Early estimates are 30 billion dead only in Detroit. No big loss.

Does this bother anyone else? (3, Interesting)

jbarr (2233) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059400)

That we're relying on Twitter to get the status of our defense department projects.

Re:Does this bother anyone else? (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059434)

Like I always say, when you want the FACTS, go to Twitter.

Not really, no. (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059446)

Isn't the whole kerfuffle these days because things like Twitter can beat "traditional" news sources to the punch?

Re:Does this bother anyone else? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059692)

Not for immediate status updates. It's fast. The public have no need for detailed entertainment - oops - information until the crash investigation is complete.

Re:Does this bother anyone else? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060740)

In the meantime they can watch the F-22's as they continue to be parked.

Re:Does this bother anyone else? (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059788)

In what way is this bothersome? The reliability, or the brevity? We aren't exactly part of the command and control or decision making process you know. I'm sure there will be detailed releases forthcoming, but little bits of accurate information sooner is better than nothing.

Re:Does this bother anyone else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37060296)

The cavalier, casual, ambivalent consumerism of it all. It feels like the typical cow-eyed apathetic arm-chair spectatorism of tee vee, BUT NOW NEWER! AND ON CRACK!

Understand, I hated it when it was television, and I hate twitter even more.

Sarah Palin on tv is like staring at a solar eclipse with the naked eye. Allowing Sarah Palin to post on twitter is like letting her press your eyeballs directly against the surface of the sun.

I don't really have an analogy for what twitter updates from DARPA is like, but I feel like it's probably something akin to Cyberdyne Systems lauding their new defense contract to equip all Stealth Bombers with their latest chips and have them connected to their new Skynet service. Or maybe even seeing an update from Weyland-Yutani about the discovery of an exciting new life form by their bio-weapons division.

Re:Does this bother anyone else? (5, Insightful)

geekboybt (866398) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059820)

Not really. That's A) what the Twitter site/platform/application are designed to do, and it does it well, and B) Far, far cheaper than rolling their own.

Re:Does this bother anyone else? (1)

Graham J - XVI (1076671) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059942)

No biggie, it's not like it's 50% of your budget or anything.

Re:Does this bother anyone else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37060008)

It's not. It's only 30 percent, and by spending it we save asshole Europeans like yourself a whole lot of money. You are quite welcome.

Re:Does this bother anyone else? (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060688)

Hey now, he could be Canadian, or Australian, or a New Zealander.

Re:Does this bother anyone else? (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060180)

They have trouble fitting sentences with "Project Falcon Experimental Hypersonic Glider Launch Vehicle Test-2" within the 140 character limit.

Or maybe it just went rogue, as experimental hypergliders are wont to do.

Have they checked yesterday? (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059414)

It obviously went FTL and subsequently back in time. Occam's butter knife.

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059458)

They have probably forgotten about the doppler effect and are surprised it vanished from radio contact. Also: it's going Mach 20. You look up, go "HOLY SHIT!" while the earth shakes from the sonic boom, and wonder if you saw something flicker for 1/1000 of 1 second.

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059592)

At those speeds, it's gone before you look up. Mach 20 is about 3.6 miles/second, so you have maybe two seconds to see it and it's not going to make sound until it's already over the horizon.

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059670)

Perhaps I've forgotten about the doppler effect too.

Why would radio communications be possible with powered supersonic aircraft, but not possible with this unpowered supersonic aircraft?

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059770)

Plasma. Seriously. At that speeds (above Mach 10 I believe), a cone of plasma forms around the aircraft like it does in re-entry of spacecraft and plays major havoc with telecommunications. By which I mean it prevents it unless you design the craft very carefully. Hence, this test.

What that has to do with the Doppler effect... I have no idea.

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37060410)

Well around there, yeah. The Sprint ABM from the 1960s lept out of its silo and was flying at Mach 10 in 5 seconds, one of the problems was getting the ground-based computer's radio signals through the rocket exhaust and the plasma from the ablative nose cone.

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060484)

Lies! It was the Cone Of Silence [wikipedia.org] !

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059792)

Atmospheric ionization?

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059682)

They have probably forgotten about the doppler effect and are surprised it vanished from radio contact.

Yes. A team of engineers would never think of that. That must be it.

Also: it's going Mach 20.

That would be a really big concern for a radio signal traveling at the speed of light. Yes, that puny Mach 20 would really put a hurtin' on that.

We better check the spectral lines of that radio signal to make sure it wasn't redshifted. It may have fallen into a black hole. That's much more likely than something going wrong in an experimental craft produced by a government project.

re: your sig, all civilized men should know when they have no idea what they're talking about and are only babbling, which would be cute except people even more ignorant might be misled by you.

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060114)

Also: it's going Mach 20.

That would be a really big concern for a radio signal traveling at the speed of light. Yes, that puny Mach 20 would really put a hurtin' on that.

This is Mach 20 around 15,000MPH. Low earth orbit objects travel around 16,000mph, and radio operators must account for doppler shift for anything in the FM band or higher. The higher the frequency, the more significant the doppler shift.

So, for example, pointing an FM radio at the ISS and expecting to set the radio on the ISS to the same frequency to communicate just won't work. We now have a non-orbital object that's just getting into that sort of range of speed.

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (1)

onepoint (301486) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060382)

Since i don't know, could AM Band have been better? I was understanding that AM travels a bit better overall

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060470)

Nice explanation.

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060796)

The ignorant deserve to be misled. It's not up to the world to educate you - it's up to you to educate yourself.

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (1)

lil.cav (2032388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059728)

Lol! Nice one bluefox! Yeah that's one expensive bottle rocket they just lost. I can't even imagine what the advanced electronics components required for those speeds cost to develop alone? As they sure as hell didn't come from Radio Shack!

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060884)

Lol! Nice one bluefox! Yeah that's one expensive bottle rocket they just lost. I can't even imagine what the advanced electronics components required for those speeds cost to develop alone? As they sure as hell didn't come from Radio Shack!

Eh, it's not a lot of speed. Accounting for doppler shift at higher frequencies than FM band (around 2M the problem starts, but anything in VHF or above is going to get wide-band distortion) would require computer equipment. Actually controlling the plane? Zilog Z80 and a hard real-time microkernel OS. Think like Minix, then you strip out most of the useless crap, add a few small bits of specialized crap, and then add all your control programs to run under that. This is not stock Minix or QNX off the shelf; it's as few lines of code as you can get, to run a stripped down and specialized hardware set, with known and easily organized data storage. Any logging happens in separate hardware, and any sensor data being pushed off goes out an I/O port with no bidirectional communication because, frankly, nobody cares; we're too busy flying a plane to deal with this foolishness, if the logging hardware fails the flight computer doesn't care.

Sure, you have some considerations; but it's surprising how much off-the-shelf stuff could go into this. It's not like you need special diamond matrix data cores.

Re:Have they checked yesterday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37060092)

Hey the thing is basically a kill Osama Bin Laden weapon. It has to go back in time to to make all that money spent worthwhile.

Where will it turn up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059444)

So is this thing going to crash somewhere? Where was it headed? I can just see it now crashing into China somewhere and start WW3 lol

Re:Where will it turn up? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059512)

Dont worry, we printed all over it "Made in IRAN"

Re:Where will it turn up? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059520)

Three astronauts flying the X-20 DynaSoar into space for the first time disappear from radar on a test flight, then reappear. Serling's voiceover is spoken showing the ship represented in a hangar by a canvas-covered form.

However, all is not as it seems upon their return to Earth. After they land, Gart is sent to the hospital with a broken leg. During the evening the other two, Forbes and Harrington, go to a bar. There, Harrington suddenly gets a strange feeling as if he no longer belongs in the world. He immediately goes to a phone booth to call his parents, but they tell him they have no son. Then Harrington mysteriously disappears, and no one but Forbes remembers his existence. Forbes tells his story to Gart, who says he does not know any person named Harrington. Then Forbes looks in the mirror, only to find there is no reflection and runs out of the room. By the time Gart gets up to run after him, Forbes has mysteriously disappeared too, and nobody remembers him. Then Gart himself mysteriously disappears, and the ship does too -- wiping them off the face of the Earth.

Re:Where will it turn up? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059600)

You've never been lost until you've been lost at mach 20.

Re:Where will it turn up? (1)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060266)

Mach 20 ought to be enough for anybody . . .

Oh boy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059478)

Nothing useful to say but... *AGAIN*?! x)

Weapons don't have to contain explosives (1)

CaptainOfSpray (1229754) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059528)

Skynet has taken it...getting tooled up for the fight....when the Falcon hits the ground at Mach 20, the target will get obliterated. If you are named Connor, and are in the phone book, and live anuwhere near Vandenberg, now's the time to Get Moving.

Re:Weapons don't have to contain explosives (1)

ComplexSimplicity (993041) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059584)

Doesn't matter where in the world you are, if it is going Mach 20 and has you in its sites, you and everyone around you is toast.

Re:Weapons don't have to contain explosives (1)

LibRT (1966204) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059696)

Yup: if I recall correctly, it can make it from LA to NY in 12 minutes and anywhere on earth inside an hour. I think it was Mach 22, actually.

Re:Weapons don't have to contain explosives (2)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060628)

when the Falcon hits the ground at Mach 20, the target will get obliterated.

FALCON PUNCH!

The last transmission before disappearance (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059602)

"I can see it now. Whatever this is, it's big.
Two cylindrical projections on top, one below."

Then we lost contact.

No wonder it's such a difficult project. (1)

dtmos (447842) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059606)

Imagine -- just try to make something glide at hypersonic speeds!

On a more serious note, it's interesting that communication with the craft seems to be the most difficult part of the project (or at least the outer skin of the onion of problems involved with hypersonic flight). I would very much like to find technical papers written on this problem -- clearly, they thought they had it solved, but also just as clearly, they haven't. What's going wrong?

Re:No wonder it's such a difficult project. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059786)

Who said it is a communications problem? It can be an aerodynamics problem and it crashed into a trillion little pieces, therefore is no longer sending telemetry data.

Re:No wonder it's such a difficult project. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060804)

Likewise, it could NOT be in trillions of little pieces, and just cannot transmit the telemetry for some reason.

Re:No wonder it's such a difficult project. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059924)

Imagine -- just try to make something glide at hypersonic speeds!

You mean, sort of like the Space Shuttle did on every reentry?

Re:No wonder it's such a difficult project. (1)

dtmos (447842) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060408)

You mean, sort of like the Space Shuttle did on every reentry?

Touché: I was considering the problem of steady-state gliding at hypersonic velocities -- something I guess even theoretically you can only do as you approach the Kármán line [wikipedia.org] -- but you're right, in transient deceleration it's been done early and often.

Bond... James Bond (2)

Aaron32 (891463) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059622)

In an unrelated note, British Intelligence just "acquired" a new Hypersonick Glider. No details given yet.

Re:Bond... James Bond (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060144)

Slightly used, probably won't be able to fly again. Can still sell it to Canada though..

Re:Bond... James Bond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37060592)

Why -- does it burn? Does it sink like a stone? We have specs to meet here!

Re:Bond... James Bond (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060458)

In an unrelated note, British Intelligence just "acquired" a new Hypersonick Glider. No details given yet.

In an unrelated note, the Peckham Boys just acquired a new Hypersonic Glider ... politicians are debating restricting citizens access to the NASA website.

Glide Phase or "Drop like a Rock Phase" (1)

Neost (1013223) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059630)

So it wasn't so much a glide phase as a "drop like a frickin' rock" phase?

Re:Glide Phase or "Drop like a Rock Phase" (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060910)

At mach 20, something doesn't drop like a rock... it's a lot like re-entry. eg: boom

They should've just had it check in (3, Funny)

revjtanton (1179893) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059636)

If they're updating us that they lost it with Twitter they should've just had it check in with Foursquare when it landed so they could find it. Duh!

Re:They should've just had it check in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059842)

If they're updating us that they lost it with Twitter they should've just had it check in with Foursquare when it landed so they could find it. Duh!

Hypersonic glider, not hipstersonic.

It probably went to a chain coffee shop, so was too embarassed to check in.

Win for government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059998)

Now they get to justify another $5 million to replace it: $1 million for the aircraft, plus $4 million for administration.

(No, this isn't a joke. This is a perfect example of how the business of government operates.)

WATCH THE SKYS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059666)

Because that's from where they will come !!

So that's what's stuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059676)

...in my lawn.

Bummer! (1)

ears_d (1400833) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059678)

That sucker looked like more fun than my K1300 S. (Think two wheels and 175 HP)

Ummm (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059702)

Isn't this how the 6 Million Dollar man started? Maybe they're just doing reruns this summer.

Glider??? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059710)

I'm having a hard time thinking of something moving at Mach 20 as a "glider" ... projectile, maybe, but glider? Really?

I guess, it's un-powered flight, which probably makes it a glider in the same way a bullet is a glider if it had wings.

Of course, we all know that it's gone where it was really aimed and we'll never know the details of the secret mission that this news story is designed to cover up. ;-)

Re:Glider??? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060560)

I guess, it's un-powered flight, which probably makes it a glider in the same way a bullet is a glider if it had wings.

If it's unpowered and generates lift through forward movement, it's a glider. Bullets don't do that - you shoot them out, they fall. If you fire one horizontally from a height of 10 meters, it will hit the ground roughly 1 second later. If it were gliding, it would hit the ground 2, 3, 50, or however many (but greater than 1) seconds later.

Before anyone chimes in, yeah, I know plenty of people claim that the rifling of modern firearms causes the bullet to curve upwards, and that this could kinda-sorta be considered "gliding" but:

1. I've recently come to the conclusion that this is probably a myth, and
2. Even if it's not a myth, it's kinda pedantic to consider that "gliding".

Re:Glider??? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060720)

Oh, don't get me wrong ... if DARPA and their egg-heads say glider, it likely is. And, quite likely for the reasons you say and then some.

But in my little brain, this sounds very much unlike "gliding". Obviously if it can steer it's not just a purely ballistic trajectory.

To me, "13,000 mph" and "gliding" just can't be made to get together. :-P That just sounds more like it should be a rocket or something.

Re:Glider??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37060594)

I fly remote control gliders totally unpower 0 type of propulsion onboard, and I make them go 400+ miles per hour. We do this thing called dynamic soaring. [wikipedia.org] Here is a video [youtu.be] you can some what see the plane at the 4 minute mark.

I am sure the government has better tech than us amateur guys to make something go fast.

Warp Speed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059724)

Warp speed?

Cost? (1)

tommy8 (2434564) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059758)

How much did this thing cost? The article doesn't say.

Maybe the heat shielding failed (1)

JTsyo (1338447) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059832)

It just burned up. Nothing left to find.

I don't get it... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059834)

So, apparently this hypersonic glider is part of the "Prompt Global Strike" concept, designed to deliver an explosive anywhere on earth in under an hour, for various purposes.

Now, we already have ICBMs that can do that; but we can't use those because ICBMs are typically equipped with thermonuclear warheads, which makes the world pretty jumpy about anybody launching one.

So, we are developing this rocket-boosted hypersonic glider thing that doesn't actually work yet to do it instead.

Here is what I don't understand: Is there anything about this new strike vehicle that would preclude a nuclear warhead in place of the conventional one? If so, it must have pretty serious payload limitations. If not, why would we expect global opinion to be any cheerier about this new toy than about the old one? Is it simply designed to be less visible to sensors than an ICBM?

Re:I don't get it... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059890)

Here is what I don't understand: Is there anything about this new strike vehicle that would preclude a nuclear warhead in place of the conventional one?

Doubt it. And when you launch it on top of a rocket it will look rather like an ICBM anyway.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

ears_d (1400833) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059984)

Going this fast while still in the atmosphere makes it harder to shoot down...

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37060048)

Metal Gear - Rex!

Anything can carry nuclear warheads (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060082)

It's merely a question of how much yield you're trying to achieve. Half a century ago, a Hiroshima sized bomb could be fit into a 15cm artillery shell ...

Basically, there is nothing that distinguishes those "tests" from the military posturing of Iran or North Korea and it pursues the same aim - to intimidate the enemy.

Re:Anything can carry nuclear warheads (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060190)

The root of my puzzlement(and, unless their is in fact a reasonable explanation that escapes me, my dismay at this waste of money) is that, if the new system cannot either achieve sensor stealth sufficiently good that early-warning systems don't notice it, or prove to the diplomatic satisfaction of everybody who would get all 'second-strike'-y if they saw a US ICBM zipping off to an urgent appointment with something, then it represents absolutely no improvement over cheaper, actually working, hardware with minor modifications:

The "Conventional Trident" proposal, for instance, would have provided a conventional warhead reentry vehicle for our existing supply of Trident missiles and launch platforms. It was nixed because a "Conventional Trident" strike and a Trident first-strike would look pretty much identical until the target was actually hit.

Unless this hypersonic glider widget is somehow not vulnerable to that objection(and I don't see why a nuclear hypersonic glider and a conventional hypersonic glider wouldn't look the same...), then the whole project would appear to be a pointless engineering stunt aimed at re-aquiring capabilities we've already had since partway through the cold war; but with the additional challenge of making it all work without leaving the atmosphere... Why bother?

Re:Anything can carry nuclear warheads (1)

digitac (24581) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060486)

The problem with ICBMs, as far as I'm aware, is that they are Ballistic. This thing can presumably maneuver in the atmosphere and therefore hit smaller or moving targets. I'm not sure what the current state of ICBMs are, but if all the aiming is done in the boost phase then you're probably aiming at something the size of a city, while this thing could hit a city block or maybe a house. Disclaimer: The above is all speculation on my part.

Re:Anything can carry nuclear warheads (2)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060968)

LGBs are ballistic as well, and yet they can guide themselves well enough...

Re:Anything can carry nuclear warheads (2)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060540)

Your presumption is based on this being a near-final design. They're working on the physics of hypersonic craft, and once they get that worked out, they can start figuring out how to design an actual delivery system. A likely final version would be launched by a bomber, not a rocket, and look more like a large cruise missile, at least at weapon release. This keeps the bomber even further outside of enemy territory (or even the territory of friends of the enemy).

I see some other options here, including possible inexpensive multistage orbital launch vehicles, but it depends on how hard it is to design and build something that successfully flies that fast.

Re:I don't get it... (3, Insightful)

Whorhay (1319089) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060214)

I believe the idea is that it can manuever to avoid whatever countermeasures an enemy may posses. Ballistic missles are launched on and designed to stay on a set trajectory that can not be changed in flight on a split second basis while keeping the same target.

Too Bad (1)

maharvey (785540) | more than 3 years ago | (#37059934)

A mach 20 aircraft would be an awesome piece of technology. I'm sad to see this research end.

Not where but when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059954)

It went over 88mph...The question is when did it go??

Been there, done that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059970)

They'll find it in the last place they look. I'd start with the hall closet.

damn wormholes (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37059972)

Poor John Crichton, lost in space now and surrounded by puppets, I mean aliens.

Have you ever... (1)

Graham J - XVI (1076671) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060012)

Have you ever lent someone money because they were hard up, then found out they bought some expensive trinket with it?

This reminds me of that.

I had high hopes for this project, but... (1)

organgtool (966989) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060028)

That's just great. Somewhere there's a jet going Mach 22 and no one knows where it's headed.

Cloud of Feathers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37060080)

In other news an entire flock of migrating birds were vaporized by a UFO going mock 20.

Re:Cloud of Feathers (1)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060468)

As long as they were Canadian Geese I'm completely ok with that.

Very suspicious (1)

sker (467551) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060094)

I'm off to go shoot pheasants with Hugo Drax. I've a feeling he may be involved.

Perhaps not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37060352)

Something that is sufficiently hypersonic generates a lot of heat. That has been known to create ionization and interfere with radio communication. It's the same problem that space to ground kinetic weapons have.

One drawback of the system is that the weapon's sensors would almost certainly be blind during atmospheric reentry due to the plasma sheath that would develop ahead of it ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_bombardment [wikipedia.org]

Signalling (1)

ilikejam (762039) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060556)

My company sold DARPA the telemetry transceivers, and I'm pretty sure there was nothing wrong with them.

--
ilikejam
CEO, Acoustic Data Transceivers Inc.

Why don't we (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37060558)

Why don't we just use GPS. Oh right, God damn commies.

Anonymous Hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37060602)

After launch did Anonymous hack it and take it over.... now flying into a secure location near you!

Tracking (1)

chinton (151403) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060782)

Perhaps using SONAR to track a hypersonic glider was not the best option...

and in other unrelated news (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37060792)

a brilliant high speed fireball was seen crossing the horizon during the test, and littering the ocean with fine debris. DARPA has thus far refused to acknowledge any connection with today's test, and is still in the process of "processing telemetry data".

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