Albert Einstein was not lying when he said that the speed of light was the universal speed limit. Well, this isn’t actually close to the speed of light but when you put it in such terms it kind of sounds like it.
The Air Force will test the Falcon HTV-2 vehicle today to try to understand better what happens with a vehicle in flight at high mach speeds. It will be launched on a rocket from an Air Force base in California where it will be released and from there it will glide unmanned at mach 20 across the Pacific Ocean. In round numbers this is a smokin’ 13,000 miles per hour or 3.6 miles per second. The ultimate goal is to allow us to develop weapon delivery vehicles that will allow us to strike a target anywhere on the globe within one hour.
After I read all this I was a bit let down that this is to be an unmanned vehicle launched in space and pulled to its blazing velocity by means of gravity. Oh well, if it helps our national security goals, then I suppose it is worth it; but I was hoping this technology would cut my commute time to work to allow me an extra half hour of sleep.
View the full article courtesy of Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/08/09/aircraft-set-to-shatter-speed-sound/?test=latestnews
-J. Wade Harrell, author of Shadows of Siernod