Los Angeles: The US Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) prestigious test of a secretive, hypersonic craft (HTV-2), capable of traversing distances around the globe in a matter of 60 minutes, has met the same fate as the earlier test in the series – the HTV-1.
The craft, after separating successfully from the launcher, lost contact with mission control nine minutes into the flight and was destroyed with a self-activated charge.
Contact with the vehicle was lost around nine minutes into the planned 30-minute flight.
In accordance with 'loss-of-signal' procedures the HTV-2 destroyed itself before completing its planned 30-minute Mach 20 gliding flight towards a target area near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
The agencies involved have said they will set up an engineering review board to investigate the loss of the second, and final, Hypersonic Test Vehicle-2 (HTV-2).
The launch was made at the Vandenberg Air Force Board, Calif, yesterday, 11 August.