Does this look like a UFO or what? If I saw it in the sky, that's what I would think it was!
This artists rendering provided by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency shows a Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2, an unmanned hypersonic glider that likely aborted its 13,000 mph flight over the Pacific Ocean last summer because unexpectedly large sections of its skin peeled off, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said Friday April 20, 2012. (AP Photo/DARPA)
DARPA releases cause of hypersonic glider anomaly
April 21, 2012 By JOHN ANTCZAK , Associated Press
(AP) -- An unmanned hypersonic glider likely aborted its 13,000 mph flight over the Pacific Ocean last summer because unexpectedly large sections of its skin peeled off, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said Friday.
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The Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2, launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., atop a rocket and released on Aug. 11, 2011, was part of research aimed at developing super-fast global strike capability for the Department of Defense.
The vehicle demonstrated stable aerodynamically controlled flight at speeds up to 20 times the speed of sound, or Mach 20, for three minutes before a series of upsets caused its autonomous flight safety system to bring it down in the ocean, DARPA said in a statement.
A gradual wearing away of the vehicle's skin was expected because of extremely high temperatures, but an independent engineering review board concluded that the most probable cause was "unexpected aeroshell degradation, creating multiple upsets of increasing severity that ultimately activated the Flight Safety System," the statement said.