An experimental, arrowhead-shaped aircraft that could reach blistering speeds of 13,000 mph above the Pacific Ocean is set to blast off Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Santa Barbara.
The flight is slated to test new technology that would provide the Pentagon 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, is scheduled to be launched at 7 a.m. into the upper reaches of the Earth's atmosphere aboard an eight-story Minotaur IV rocket, made by Orbital Sciences Corp.
The aircraft will then separate, screech back toward Earth, level out and glide above the Pacific at 20 times the speed of sound, or Mach 20. Read more at latimes.com »