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Falcon Test Launch (No, The *Other* Falcon)

DARPA will be launching a test flight of the Falcon HTV-2 hypersonic vehicle:

If all goes to plan, engineers will launch the Falcon HTV-2 to the edge of space, before detaching the plane and guiding it on a hypersonic flight that will reach speeds of 13,000mph (about 20 times the speed of sound) on its return to Earth.

Those who think that the long-overdue termination of the Space Shuttle and NASA/Congress’ lack of clear vision on what should replace it indicate the U.S. no longer has what it takes to innovate in aerospace ought look at this (and the X-37b) before shedding additional tears or rending further garments. DARPA and USAF certainly seem to be cutting new edges — and that’s on top of the New Space companies who are recapitulating and improving upon prior efforts with new technology of their own.

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