Dampening the hopes of the engineers and other members of the U.S DARPA, the Falcon HTV-2 perished in a crash landing in the Pacific Ocean. Just minutes after it took off on Thursday (3pm BST), the Falcon managed to send out data worth 30 minutes, but soon after lost control with the ground station authorities and slipped in the depths of the Pacific Ocean. This incident, however, isn't the first of its kind. The Falcon, had once before, crashed into the Pacific Ocean. That time, however, the Falcon just managed to send out nine minutes worth of data. So, in a way, engineers sense development, Christian Science Monitor reports.
As fast as it could get (Image credit: Darpa.mil)
Essentially a rocket-launched aircraft, the Falcon HTV-2 was placed on the back of a rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California by the U.S. Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Engineers working on it intended to launch it space wards, before they detached it from the plane it had been set atop. The Falcon HTV-2 then equipped itself with hypersonic speeds of 13,000 mph, on its return journey.
The hypersonic plane had undergone several tests to gauge its speed capabilities. However, its engineers believed that although the tests conducted gave them an idea of the speeds the plane can achieve, the real test was the only best way to ascertain it. As much as it was fast, or hypersonic to be precise, Falcon HTV-2's endurance to heat also made for an impressive figure. Reports suggested that the Falcon HTV-2 could resist temperatures of almost 2,000 degrees celsius, which was roughly hotter than steel's melting point!
Publish date: August 13, 2011 12:43 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 8:20 pm