Second HTV-2 reported lost

Roamy here. We need some new names in aerospace, because the first thing I thought of when I heard about the HTV-2 was the Japanese unmanned cargo vehicle (aka Kounotori). Didn’t help that they also called it Falcon, which is same as the SpaceX rocket. Anyway, I digress…

The Lockheed Martin-built HTV-2 was supposed to fly over 4,000 miles across the Pacific in 30 minutes, demonstrating hypersonic flight and developing technology for a global strike weapon. The first test flight in April 2010 lasted for nine minutes before telemetry was lost.  Today, DARPA said the launch from Vandenberg AFB of the Minotaur 4 rocket carrying the HTV-2 was successful, separation was confirmed, and that it was entering glide phase. It reported 26 minutes later that telemetry had been lost. I hope they received enough data to know what went wrong.

A little more about the HTV-2 test here.


4 thoughts on “Second HTV-2 reported lost”

  1. Worked on the Hypersonic Glide Vehicle for the Air Force some 25 years ago. It was a tough problem – fairly high heating rates and long soak times. Easy for some heating aberration to fail the bond line between the heatshield and the airframe. And the carbon-carbon aeroshell-over-insulator versions had thermal expansion problems.

    I don’t know anything about the Lockheed-Martin design, but I appreciate the difficulty of what they’re attempting. It’s too bad they can only afford a few tries.

    1. I worked a little 30+ years ago for LTV Aerospace on a non-tiled version of the nose cone for the space shuttle. The technology has been around a long time, you would think that they could do a little better by now.

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