Oooops. This is embarrassing.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched, with much fanfare, an experimental aircraft capable of hitting speeds of up to Mach-20.
The hypersonic craft theoretically could travel from New York to LA in about 12 minutes. Launched atop a rocket, the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 is supposed to separate from its launcher in the upper atmosphere and enter a glide path traveling at close to 13,000 miles per hour.
The launch phase went off without a hitch. But once separated from its rocket, DARPA lost contact with the aircraft as the vehicle entered its glide path:
DARPA used Twitter to announce the launch and status of the flight.
The agency said the launch of the Minotaur 4 rocket was successful and separation was confirmed. It next reported that telemetry had been lost.
No further details were immediately reported. There was no immediate response to an email request to DARPA for information on the mission.
The HTV-2 is intended to put theory, simulations and wind tunnel experience to the test in real flight conditions at speeds producing temperatures in the thousands of degrees and requiring extremely fast control systems, according to DARPA.
Maybe aliens saw the small aircraft as a toy and decided to hijack it. They probably recognized it since we no doubt designed and built the craft by back engineering technology from the UFO that crashed near Roswell 60 years ago.
Regardless, back to the drawing board for DARPA…