A seven-month investigation into the failure of DARPA’s Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2) has concluded that a series of shockwaves caused unexpectedly large sections of the aeroshell to peel away after the experimental craft spent nearly three minutes traveling at Mach 20.
The flight successfully demonstrated stable aerodynamically-controlled flight at speeds up to Mach 20 (twenty times the speed of sound) for nearly three minutes. Approximately nine minutes into the test flight, the vehicle experienced a series of shocks culminating in an anomaly, which prompted the autonomous flight safety system to use the vehicle’s aerodynamic systems to make a controlled descent and splashdown into the ocean.
- Parabolic Arc
- April 25, 2012