The U.S. army self-destructed a futuristic space weapon during a test launch at its remote Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska on Monday.
— Daily Scene News (@DailyScene) August 26, 2014
The Department of Defense says it was conducting a test of its Advanced Hypersonic Weapon when a flight anomaly forced flight engineers to terminate the launch just seconds after lift-off.
Defense Department spokesperson Maureen Schumann said the termination of the launch was done “to ensure public safety,” and that officials were conducting an extensive investigation to determine what caused the launch to fail.
Schumann added, “Shortly after 4 a.m. EDT, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, as part of the Defense Department’s Conventional Prompt Global Strike technology development program, conducted a flight test of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska.
Due to an anomaly, the test was terminated near the launch pad shortly after lift-off to ensure public safety. There were no injuries to any personnel.”
No injuries were reported and officials are trying to determine what led to the anomaly. Officials believe debris fell within the grounds of the commercial spaceport which is located 44 miles south of the city of Kodiak on Kodiak Island, off Alaska’s southern coast.
The Advanced Hypersonic Weapon – named Flacon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (or HTV-2 for short) – is a DARPA project that has been tested for nearly 5 years.
It was developed by Sandia National Laboratory – a Lockheed Martin subsidiary – along with the U.S. Army as part of the military’s “Conventional Prompt Global Strike” technology development program, which is seeking to build a weapon that can destroy targets anywhere on Earth within one hour.
According to Lockheed Martin, the HTV-2 is a “multiyear research and development effort to increase the technical knowledge base and advance critical technologies to make long-duration hypersonic flight a reality.”
The agency plans for the HTV-2 to be the fastest aircraft ever constructed. DARPA says it’s designed to fly anywhere in the world in less than an hour, a capability that requires an aircraft that has the ability to fly at 13,000 miles per hour, while experiencing temperatures upwards of 3500 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Air doesn’t travel around you — You rip it apart,” as DARPA said on its website.
U.S. Army Self-Destructs Space Weapon During Test Launch