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Contact Lost With Glider At 20 Times The Speed Of Sound [Video]

Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2
AP Photo/DARPA

An unmanned hypersonic glider was lost Thursday after the experimental craft began flying on its own, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The vehicle plunged harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean. The “Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2″ is shaped like the tip of a spear, and is being designed to respond to military threats at 20 times the speed of sound or greater, reaching any part of the globe in an hour.

Defense analyst John Pike of Globalsecurity.org wasn’t surprised with the latest failure because the hypersonic test flight program is still in its infancy. Pike said it’s possible for engineers to still glean useful information about what worked and what didn’t, despite the flight ending prematurely. The key is to analyze what happened in the final five seconds before contact was lost.

To give you an idea of how fast the “Falcon” flies, reports say it could travel from California to New York in 12 minutes.

(From Associated Press/DARPA)

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