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The Case of the Disappearing Mach 20 Glider

The Pentagon has been gearing up its “prompt global strike” program in several ways.  Experimenting with putting conventional warheads on intercontinental nuclear missiles, making cruise missiles that fly at about 2000 meters/second, and building a Hypersonic Technology Vehicle that “was supposed to be rocket-launched from California to the edge of space… [and] would could[sic] screaming back into the atmosphere, maneuvering at twenty times times the speed of sound before landing north of the Kwajalein Atoll, 30 minutes later and 4100 nautical miles away.”

Last week’s launch of the HTV-2 was all going fine until DARPA lost contact with the glider somewhere over the Pacific ocean.

No, unfortunately, this article is not about new stealth technology.  File it under funny, ’cause otherwise you’d just cry.

And because you’ve just got to laugh, we feel free to mention that there’s just something about it that reminds us of this:

Hrun pulled out a fistful of coins.
The first two landed in the usual manner. So did the fourth. The third landed on its edge and balanced there. The fifth turned into a small yellow caterpillar and crawled away. The sixth, upon reaching its zenith, vanished with a sharp ‘spang!’ A moment later there was a small thunder clap.
‘Hey, that one was silver!’ exclaimed Hrun, rising to his feet and staring upwards. ‘Bring it back!’
‘I don’t know where it’s gone,’ said Rincewind wearily. ‘It’s probably still accelerating. The ones I tried this morning didn’t come down, anyway.’
The Color of Magic, Terry Pratchett

From Wired: “Darpa says its investigation is ongoing.”

(via Wired.)

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