The launch of an experimental aircraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base expected to be seen and heard in South County skies has been rescheduled for early today.
Set to fly above the Pacific Ocean, a rocket carrying the arrowhead-shaped craft is set to blast off from the base in northern Santa Barbara County atop an eight-story Minotaur IV rocket. It’s expected to reach speeds of up to 13,000 mph.
The flight is slated to test new technology that would provide the Pentagon with a lightning-fast vehicle, capable of delivering a military strike anywhere in the world in less than an hour.
The unmanned aircraft, dubbed Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2), is scheduled to be launched into the upper reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere.
The aircraft would then separate, screech back toward Earth, level out and glide above the Pacific at 20 times the speed of sound, or Mach 20.