Lost at sea. Military loses contact with hypersonic test plane
August 11th, 2011
08:17 AM ET

Lost at sea. Military loses contact with hypersonic test plane

By Adam Levine

Military researchers conducting the flight of the fastest unmanned aircraft ever launched said Thursday an "anomaly" caused a lost contact with the vehicle nine minutes into its flight. The plane is believed to have crashed in the Pacific at some point along the planned flight path, according to a statement from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), which conducted the test.

The Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle (HTV-2) had successfully separated from the launch vehicle and was performing "glide phase" maneuvers meant to test its aerodynamics when contact was lost, according to an 11 a.m. (ET) Twitter post from DARPA. A tweet, at 12:30 p.m. said downrange trackers were unable to relocate the HTV2 but the vehicle "has an autonomous flight termination capability".

The vehicle was launched by a Minotaur IV rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, before separating and re-entering the atmosphere over the Pacific. The launch, originally slated for Wednesday but then scrubbed because of weather, was not broadcast live.

This was the second run for the craft. In April 2010 ended with the aircraft crashing into the Pacific after a loss of contact nine minutes into the flight. But those nine minutes provided some key information about flying 22 times faster than a commercial jetliner.

Thursday's flight was to test control and communications capabilities, as well as heat resistance and other effects of hypersonic flight. The nine minutes of data demonstrated that launching the aircraft was mastered but they continued to be stymied in controlling the vehicle at Mach 20 speed.

"We do not yet know how to achieve the desired control during the aerodynamic phase of flight. It’s vexing; I’m confident there is a solution. We have to find it," said Air Force Maj. Chris Schulz, the DARPA program manager.

DARPA's goal is to create the capability of reaching any target in the world in less than an hour.

The triangular wedge of zoom is capable of reaching Mach 20 – approximately 13,000 miles per hour – according to DARPA. At such speeds in Earth's atmosphere, friction subjects the vehicle to temperatures of more than 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

As DARPA said on the HTV-2 site, at that speed "air doesn't travel around you – you rip it apart."

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Filed under: DARPA • Military
soundoff (1,336 Responses)
  1. mike

    there goes a billion bucks

    August 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  2. hardsteel

    So when Superman traveled back in time in Superman II, how fast was he going? At 3.6 miles/second, that would rougly put Mach 20 in just under 13,000 miles/hour. Pretty sure you would be traveling forward/backward in time. Still doesn't have anything on the SR-71, especially the look.

    August 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  3. hardsteel

    This would primarily be a kinetic energy bomber. NO explosives, just tungsten steel rods coming down. With speeds hypersonic, it would bring such a huge amount of energy in a dedicated area. Think a 8-9.0 earthquake located regionally to a few square miles. Good to see our government is finally taking a page out of Tom Clancy novels...

    August 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • required

      good observation, but the atomic bomb is still the definitive weapon of mass destruction ever created by human hands. it's good to see the human mind working in such ways as to cause death to the innocent...

      August 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Reply
      • hardsteel

        Yeah, but this wouldn't have the fallout...well, not nuclear, but lots and lots of debris.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Ken

      Sorry, but they would not use such exotic tech on a simple kinetic energy killer. I could see it in ABM system, or sat killer, where speed is more than critical. I think their real goals are in hyper sonic troop transporting, high speed bombers, or recon. For killing things it's going to be far cheaper to use conventional ICBM and ballistic rockets in the long term.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  4. Rocky Castaneda

    Alien tech?

    August 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • Corinnian

      I actually attended Alien Tech. I'm not sure what that has to do with this topic though.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  5. capnmike

    This has no civilian application. It is only going to be a hyper-expensive weapon (spelled T-O-Y) for the military and a huge expense, and will be totally worthless against the real threats we face from dirtbags like Al Qaida and other evil nutcases.

    August 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
    • TJ

      Im sure thats what people like you thought about the nuclear program in the 30's.... look where that got us! It ended a friggin war!

      August 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Reply
      • Dru

        And Fukushima nuclear disaster..

        August 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
      • MB

        Yes, yes, look at where nuclear proliferation got us.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • China

      Yes, yes... Al Qaida is the real threat you face. follow the mainstream media, "support the troops", and watch your reality tv. Pay no attention to us, we're just an aspiring nation hoping to achieve the greatness of your wonderful country by selling you simple goods for your wal-marts.

      These are not the droids you're looking for...

      August 11, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  6. oh crap

    That sucks telemetry with HTV2 was lost after the successful launch..... epic fail. DARPA hangs head in sham.

    August 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  7. rb

    It's pretty clear it went either backwards or forwards in time, and that's why they can't find it, right?

    August 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
    • Dru

      To infinity! And beyond!

      August 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  8. EC

    for all u tards out there saying this isnt a weapon, but a transport vehicle.....
    straight from DARPA's mouth.....

    "The HTV-2 is part of a program called Prompt Global Strike called DARPA (which is short for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to develop advanced weapons systems with extreme range."

    also, put a human body and transport it at Mach 20....open up the vehicle and be ready with a mop and bucket

    August 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • Corinnian

      ...or eating utensils when your piping hot Pizza arrives!

      August 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • Andy

      Actually EC thats wrong. The shuttle traveled around the same speed when reentering. The high speed isnt what would kill someone. Sudden acceleration or deceleration on the other hand would. That means you just have to achieve mach 22 at a rate the human body can handle. Its actually kind of funny to see your comment because people used to same the same thing about traveling high speeds in cars when the horse and wagon was the main mode of transport and then said the same thing about traveling mach 1.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  9. America - Still Got it Baby!

    Suck on my Mach 20 plane, biatch!

    August 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • Tha Chikin

      LOL!!! I LOVE EET!

      August 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  10. Retired Army in San Antonio

    This hypersonic 'wedge' is gonna PURELY have weapon applications!

    August 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • Corinnian

      Weapon of Mass Delivery. Sorry, no weaponry to be had here except delicious, Papa John's Pizza delivered as fast as possible to you. In a fast-paced world we don't have time to wait for pizza, that's why Papa John's is making this happen. Thanks for your support!

      August 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  11. eh

    reading the comments tells alot about our country and how we are all split yet one whole people.....I LOVE AMERICA! WE GET TO THINK AND SPEAK OUR MINDS EVEN IF SOME OF UR ARE COMPLETELY OUT OF OUR MINDS...GOD BLESS AMERICA!

    August 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • Tha Chikin

      YUP! It's a beautiful thing!!

      August 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  12. Sam Yates

    This technology began as research at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in the mid-70's to 80's. The hypersonic vehicle was originally designed to be a land-based hypersonic space fighter/bomber capable of reaching anywhere on the earth in response to threats against the USA. Additionally, the vehicle would have plasma weapon offensive capability allowing it to fight space-to-space should adversary countries also develop space fighters. Subsequent research has brought yet another variation of this vehicle that is operational and based in New Mexico. The variant vehicle also employs an advanced stealth technology that bends laser pulsed detetection systems giving the craft a "nearly cloaked" signature. Only a handful of photographs of the space plane in transition to space or from space have ever been recorded.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • You do realize...

      This thing is moving at 3.6 miles per SECOND... A radar has a range of 40 miles and even the fastest can refresh the screen every 4 seconds, the average is 12 seconds. Heck say it's 4 seconds and you caught it at 39 miles. By the time you've picked up the phone and said something's incoming you're already blown up and the aircraft is on it's way home. Good story though....

      August 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  13. Brian from Chicago

    Does anyone remember, back in the first days of Dubya's first term, when a Chinese fighter jet thumped an American propeller-driven spy plane over international waters? Well, what is the "thump potential" of a flying wedge? Would it yank the pilot out of his cockpit? I mean, hypothetically?

    August 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  14. Kick

    Really? The triangular wedge of zoom is the best you could come up with? It sounds more like it should give who ever has it +2 to agility.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • Corinnian

      Ha-ha! Ya got us, Kick! We're all huge ADnD nuts here at DARPA. We love Papa John's Pizza, we love DnD ... this was the result. Thanks for your support!

      All the best!

      August 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  15. Carlos

    This project is a giant slap in the face to humanity. People live in squalor and governments are busy spending billions on technology that could be used to annihilate human beings. What a disgusting reality the modern world has given us.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Kenta

      Yeah, like that hasn't happened throughout the history of mankind. Utopia is only a book, not a reality.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • Corinnian

      When these starving individuals receive their food donations from the US in less than an hour, you'll change your tune. It may be a little burnt but beggars can't be choosers.

      Also, Papa John's will be using this technology to deliver pizzas. At the very least we'll all enjoy fast, high quality pizza delivery. How can you argue with that? Better ingredients, faster pizza. Papa Johns.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Reply
      • Ranxorox

        how can you be so glib about millions of children dying from hunger and thirst? Answer me!

        August 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
      • Thereisnogod

        Papa John's Pizza is crap!
        Domino's is better but it is still not good. Best pizza is made in mom & pop pizza joints period.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
      • Brandon

        Heck you can just make the pizza and throw it in the zoom pod to both transport and bake at the same time.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
      • Mark inFL

        Ranxorax, do you eat pizza? If so why do you not eat something cheaper and donate the rest to the famine starved millions? Do you only spend money on the necessities of subsistence?

        August 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
      • Corinnian

        Pizza Joints Period sounds disgusting and inappropriate. Please mind your language when posting here. Brandon, as far as your idea about cooking while in flight, that is exactly what Papa John's has in mind. The goal is to cut delivery and cooking time here. See my previous post on using the heat of the wedge to bake the pizza while in flight.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
      • Cadiz

        Raxorox, how can you be so glib about this great advancement in technology and transport?? Here you use technology on a regular basis but when there is an advancement you whine about the cost. Give up your internet connection and your computer and send the money instead to feed the starving masses or quit griping.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Hey Genius...

      Say that again as you reach for your computer, talk on your cell phone, use your Teflon pans, turn on your flat panel television, and see your mum who is getting hip replacement surgery. Please hold your remarks for later. The adults are talking.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
      • JamesT

        Why you are wrong Genius, is that we work for our phones and flat panels and pans. We give something to society and receive something back. We give 100% and only receive 50% back, thanks to taxes. Therefore we ARE giving what we earn to government who are supposed to make things better, NOT SPEND IT ON THINGS THAT CAN DESTROY LIFE. Bet.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
      • Hey Genius...

        Time to pull your head out and take a deep breath fresh air. This is not ALL ABOUT MISSILES!! Flying at M20 is not all about death and destruction. Yeah... they can use it for military... just about every damn tech we have today is thanks to military tech development (please don't force me to name them). Flying at M20 has significant civilian applications – like fly into space without spewing tons of acidic pollution into the air... and it'll probably be WAY cheaper. And I'd love to see the heat dispersing tech they're using on the vehicle's skin – durable, lightweight, probably conductive. And the electronics – probably a derivative of low-heat photo-active solid state (photo-tronics) – way faster than present-day computers. This is the next generation of tech – right here. The next generation of American jobs and God knows what.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Brandon

      Carlos, this will allow you to order pizzas and chicken fingers for starving African children and have them delivered directly in less than 20 minutes from the west coast of the United States... So, now it will be easier for YOU to help feed the starving kids and you'll no longer have a geographical excuse!

      August 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
      • Corinnian

        Now you're speaking my language...

        August 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • intothemoonbeam

      This will sound insensitive to some but there will always be poverty and starving people in the world. It's a sad fact of reality, but when there are close to 7 Billion people in the world, it will always be close to impossible to help every single one of them. With that being said you can't just stop everything and say no new technology allowed because there are starving people because no matter what you do poverty will always exist.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  16. daremoe

    As they used to and always will say "aeronautical engineers design weapons of mass destruction, mechanical (electrical / civil / structural) engineers design targets.”

    August 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  17. jj

    Practicality? It takes a rocket launch and is mostly a glider. Can this thing even land? It seems like the control rockets would be the only thing that could keep it stable at lower speeds. How is this different from a missile?

    August 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Shwan

      It's not supposed to be anything different than a missile. the HVT is being designed as a global strike weapon that travels under the atmosphere so the US can bomb anything in the world within 30 minutes and have it not be mistaken as a Nuclear-Weapon tipped ICBM.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • Retired Army in San Antonio

      Exactly! Designed by the military?

      This ain't a transport aircraft; at hypersonic speeds.....I'm betting this is a weapon in the making!

      August 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Reply
      • Cadiz

        True, sounds good to me.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Hey Genius...

      lol... another one. Raise your hand if you know the difference between a controlled flight and ballistics. Right. Now raise your hands if you understand the importance of M20 controlled flight. Very good.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  18. Dr_Steven

    I just found it in my back yard o.o

    No joking but um... how do you explain this if it lands in another country somewhere?

    Oops?

    August 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • Richard

      Poor Americans (thanks to Bush and Obama) have to go begging, hat in hand to the Chinese or Russians to launch anything into space (because the Shuttle was killed off) and they are wasting money on that thing? Meanwhile, they continue to pour money into the $150B and counting ISS, which has proved to be the biggest white elephant the space program (and politicians) ever produced.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Reply
      • Corinnian

        Thank you for your sympathies, Richard.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
      • The Spy

        Show the proof please. Don't just state that it's been proven. Show the proof.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
      • Hey Genius...

        Oh... you're a smart little one, aren't you? But I guess you missed the press release yesterday – about five private, commercial US-owned companies just entered into contracts with NASA to launch vehicles to ISS and provide satellite service; thus the commercial space program has really begun. And lookit this... ISS might even become more and more important as the years go by – as a satellite service platform or even to build other space craft that will fly out of earth orbit. All thanks to poor little USA.

        Amazing what a little reading can do for you.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
      • Seth

        Not really sure what your point is with "they killed off the shuttle but the they are wasting money on this thing". These two technologies aren't even comparable. Also we do not have to go crying to China and Russia anytime we want to launch anything. The US has a very active space exploration program, we simply don't send, or have the capability to send people into space.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
      • Thereisnogod

        Begging? First of all taking a loan is not begging. It is a business transaction. The lender is getting paid interest; they are not doing it for free. Second, it is the rest of the world that is always begging for something from the USA. Weather it is help to get rid of Hitler and the NAZI invaders to food for 600,000 children. The USA is always the first to help with the most.
        One day we Americans will say enough is enough and give the big middle finger to the rest of the world and tell everyone to scratch their back with their own hands. The USA has the most natural resources of any country in the world and can actually do say f u to the world and take care of ourselves.

        We don't need anyone's pity.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
      • MB

        Pssst...thereisnogod...you forgot about Canada and the natural resources thing...

        August 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
      • Tha Chikin

        I love how people thave no clue what they are talking about feel compelled to add their 2 cents.

        First off genius, we don't need to beg for help from anyone. The reason this country is in trouble is because we run to everybody's rescue. If it was up to me, all of you guys would have to fend for yourselves. Regrettably, I have no say even though my tax dollars goes to bailing out someone's **bleep** in a country oceans from me. I normally bite my tounge because showing good will towards others can't be a bad thing... right?!? What has it gotten us though? People like you who think we are all imbeciles and those out there that say "Death to America". Yet, we still come to the rescue! W-H-A-T-E-V-E-R!!!

        That said... Yes, America no longer has a shuttle program. However, we are currently working on a spiffy NEW program that will take us beyond low Earth orbit based on the Saturn 5. It is in the testing stages (and it really DOES shake the Earth)... they had a test flight a few short months ago. I know because I pay attention to this stuff and can hop in my car and watch it happen. There are talks of a Lunar Base, and also possibly a manned mission to Mars. That means that AMERICANS will be the first to land feet on Mars. So, put THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

        Thanks for your support!

        August 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  19. Katran Miller

    All of you worried about the cost of this will be glad to know this program was axed by budget cuts, so we won't be seeing 12 minute flights between both coasts any time soon.

    Good thing DARPA's been reigned in before their experimental technology produced results. After all, their last "what the heck is THIS for?!" technological experiments became the embryonic backbone of the internet. And that was a TOTAL waste of money, which produced no jobs and did nothing for the economy or society, right? Like, oh, the comment box you're currently using to disparage experiments like this.

    (No Gore jokes, please. He created the legislation that *funded* the internet coalescing into one nationwide network from DARPAnet, bitnet and other separate networks. It's just stupid pundits who have pretended he said he created the internet itself. Look it up.)

    August 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • aerospace

      This is not the internet or cell phone technology. This is a weapon that sits on a top of the rocket and will not revolutionize anything for consumers. It should be cut right along with a lot of stuff the govenrment does research on.
      Maybe than our top scientists and engineers will get jobs in private sector working on things that will really create jobs or make us competative, like zero emission cars, or automated farm equipment.......

      August 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Reply
      • Hey Genius...

        As I said to the last "genius" that expressed your very thoughts – think about NASA and military technology when you turn on your laptop. use your cellphone, fry an egg on your Teflon pan, or visit your aunt who just had surgery for hip replacement or pace-maker or stent. Heck... anything plastic???

        LOL... you "geniuses" make me laugh.

        Just because you do not understand the importance of government subsidized technological developments doesn't mean that their importance has vanished or that they have less value. You may ignore history, but to your own peril.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
      • Brett

        I am tired of hearing the private sector research nonsense. The private sector NEVER does anything ambitious because it is too much of a risk. These engineers would be tasked with designing a prettier microwave instead of an advanced M20 vehicle. What is the most sophisticated product that private research has given us? A razor with five blades instead of three!

        You have no idea...

        August 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
      • Thereisnogod

        Brett is absolutely right! It is government that always funds the big projects and technologies that make it possible for companies to develop smaller innovations.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
      • Cadiz

        It is practical aviation technology so it is directly applicable to civil uses. If it also gives the USA greater military capability good for it.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • woo woo

      DARPA has given inspiration to the private sector. if not for the DARPA challenges and what not then non military sectors wouldnt be saying "i can do that better and cheaper"

      August 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  20. Andrew

    Sooo... This thing is whizzing around at Mach 20 and we don't know exactly where it is? Cool!

    August 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • HZ

      They probably know but they want to have time to get to it in slow moving aircraft and trucks before some treasure hunter gets there. I imagine it takes a long time to catch up to something that was going Mach 20...

      August 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • ccp sucks

      Probably whizzing over beijing and causing them to report ufos.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Katran Miller

      It probably splashed down like the last one. I can't believe they can get anything to move that fast. Then again, those old breaking-the-sound-barrier tests back in the 50s were really, really difficult; the early test vehicles kept flying apart or destabilizing, because the stresses on them were immense. This would be carrying on those tests in a new age.

      Except, of course, there won't be any more testing/development on this, since it's been cut from the budget. I can understand why - we have to make cuts *somewhere* - but we *do* lose out, when we have to can promising programs like this.

      That's what drives me nuts about all the "it's wasteful, cut it!" talk.

      Sometimes your finances get really awful, and you have to sell the family's second car and coordinate errands and commutes for two people in a single car. Cuts like that may indeed be necessary, but that doesn't necessarily mean the thing that was cut was useless.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
      • Kenta

        Cuts like this AREN'T necessary it's just the alternative is unsavory to most Americans. If you want to pay more taxes or ideally, if the rich get taxed a lot more, then DARPA can have more funding

        August 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
      • Brett

        Wouldn't the rich like to travel from LA to NY in less than 12 minutes?

        The government funds innovation – period. If we cut federal funds for research it will only hurt our ability to innovate. Who convinced all of you "geniuses" (thanks Hey Genius) that money spent on research is wasted?

        August 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  21. HZ

    The problem I have with this idea as a military weapon is that we would end up spending like $50 million minimum to fire just one of these things and to be sure you hit the target you would want to use 2 or 3 of them. Right now in Afghanistan the military fires 4 missiles per target and each missile is like $350k-$375k dollars. I remember when the Cold War ended and people joked about using old nuclear ICBMs to send conventional explosives to a target on the other side of the world... but it was a joke!

    I can see the benefits to transportation in general if we master flying that fast but as an attack weapon... I don't think so.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • john

      But just think about the instantaneous "cleanup" a fleet of these could do in places like Pakistan and Afganistan where they would be integrated into the video intelligence and surveillance networks. We could withdraw most on the ground deployments saving billions and live.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
      • Brett

        Pictures at Mach 20?! What shutter speed do you use for that?

        August 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
      • Charles

        You mean just like we only needed 50,000 ground troops in Iraq to maintain security.

        August 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Eric

      Maybe. I don't think anyone anticipated putting missiles on drones either. If the military can do something new with it, they will.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • Kenta

      Good luck putting people in these things. The amount of stress a human body would undergo travelling at that speed is ridiculous. Everyone would need to be dressed like astronauts.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
      • Charles

        We don't put put humans in missiles aimed at hostile targets.

        August 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
      • The Spy

        Duh. Check out the speed of the Space Shuttle. And what do you think fighter jet pilots wear now? Shorts and T-shirts? Thanks for pointing out the "extremely" obvious. I was stuck on the "meerly" obvious.
        So, what grade are you in?

        August 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  22. paujons

    Last update was they lost contact? ummmm is this thing in space somewhere? Did it land in someone's living room? Will we hear about some freak accident somewhere? Update CNN COME ON!!

    August 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • HZ

      Something going that fast would break up into a lot of tiny pieces if it lost control. The broken pieces aren't going to be aerodynamically stable so they will slow down very quickly. What hits the ground would be going mostly straight down no faster than something that fell out of a slow moving airplane. But no, you probably wouldn't want a 1/2 pound chunk of debris to fall on your head from 30k+ feet above.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Richie P

      Yeah, it might land in your living room... if your living room is in the middle of the most barren part of the pacific ocean.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  23. hardwired

    Sounds perfect for late-night beer runs (back before the old lady even knows I left).

    August 11, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  24. Sam

    It is a stolen technology anyway. NASA started from Nazi SS scientists. Instead being tried for the holocaust, they get the star treatment as premier space researchers and scientists. What is wrong if China gets the technology. What goes around will come around.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • ccp sucks

      Sam is chinese propaganda.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • PhooBar

      Waiter, please bring Mr. Sam his tinfoil hat. The voices are distracting him...

      August 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • AE

      Actually, the scientists at Peenemunde were given a choice of where they would like to continue their research, so it wasn't stolen.

      And we owe all modern rocket technology to them, so show some respect.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • hillman

      and where did the nazis get this technology ufos thats where there is no way this is man made

      August 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  25. Martyr2

    Is it me or does that seem to appear very similar to something that would have crashed in New Mexico in 1947? Could alien technology be behind some of this supersonic aircraft? Interesting how these things appear to spring up all of a sudden.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Jeff Dwyer

      Much of our space and weapons technology is probably the result of reverse-engineering of alien gadgets either captured, found among wreckage, or even shared by benevolent beings from far away. Aside from the astounding technological leaps such as the transition from a 3-man capsule (Apollo) to the airliner-sized vehicles known as the space shuttle, my belief is also based on the extreme arrogance of our government. I've always suspected Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II knew they had a ace-in-the-hole to back up otherwise dangerous and foolish foreign policies.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
      • AE

        Yep, it has nothing to do with thousands of highly-educated, driven people working for years to pursue new designs. Try reading an aerospace history book. Much of the design leaps have been de-classified, and are pretty straight-forward.

        Failing to believe that, I should buy stock in aluminum foil.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
      • Agent K

        Oops, looks like we forgot to flashy-thing one.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
      • Lomunchi

        Well I sure hope they release the sonic screwdriver soon! I'm locked out of my car.
        There are some pretty reasonable reasons why the concept drawings of space ships (terrestrial or otherwise) look similar. It's aerodynamics. (now, of course, in outerspace aerodynamics doesn't play a hoot-n-a-holler so we can get really creative there)
        Yeah, I'll put my money on the several hundred person-years of effort put into this vs alien technology.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
      • Brett

        So it is more feasible that aliens gave us their technology than the possibility that a group of intelligent and dedicated scientists came up with this?

        August 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Joey

      Get a grip.

      August 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  26. se58

    Question how are we sopost to pay for this space craft when the United States doesn't have the money. Didn't Congress and the Senate pass to raise the ciling, plus Obama sign it right so how are we going to pay for this space craft?

    August 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Corinnian

      See your previous post for that answer, se58. We're not going to reexplain... stop humping and dumping posts.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      $42,000 hammers, $250,000 plungers

      August 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Tardstick

      You were "sopopst" to go to school and get an education, but clearly you missed out on that. Maybe if you would have learned to spell you could have solved this nation's budget crisis yourself. But since you didn't, we will just have to trust good ole Barry O. to take care of us.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • Brett

      Maybe because it was passed a previous budget and this budget year has not ended..?

      Do you pay for your air flights after you land? Or for gasoline after you have burned it? This isn't high level thinking we are talking about here. A simply happens before B.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  27. Howdy Doody

    I have little patience for military spending these days- but one program that I would turn a blind eye too would be Lockheed's "Walrus" blue prints. The "Walrus" is basically a modern dirigible capable of transporting large cargoes long distances – bypassing harbors and ports. Why dirigible technology is not utilized by this country is simply amazing to me- we would have such an advantage as well since we have the largest reserves of helium in the world just sitting there in Texas.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Corinnian

      At the very least we would have a lot of people talking in funny high-pitched voices! The possibilities are endless!

      August 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
      • Howdy Doody

        Tip for the future- Helium. About to become an indexed commodity as its uses grow and grow and grow. Prices in helium have gone bonkers in the last decade. Finite resource that we (as in the Earth) are really running out of. The US squats on the largest reserve in the world right now and that is a huge advantage.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
      • Corinnian

        Sounds like a lot of hot air to me... *clown horns*

        August 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • NielsG

      Helium we may have, but its not being created quickly right now, and its quantity is finite. There just is no replacement. If we factored in the rarity, I remember seeing a report that showed the true cost of filling up one balloon with this irreplaceable resource should cost $1500...

      August 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • Brett

      Texas is big on gases. Unfortunately not so "blessed" when it comes to water. Water is necessary to generate energy. Energy is necessary to extract and process the Helium reserves. Texas is already running into issues with water shortage impacting the ability to perform hydraulic fracturing.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  28. Duality is the Key, What's the lock?

    There are so many things wrong with DARPA and it's spending we cannot list them all. There are also great things produced by these kinds of research. The space industry, from the beginning paved the way for most all new tech. these days.
    If we want to change things we need to see the planet as our nest, our spaceship. The earth is traveling through space faster than any ship we can build. It spins on axis, spins around the son and our solar system as a whole rockets through the universe at phenomenal speed.
    Change will happen when we all prioritize our lives and cultures based in harmony not competition. When are we going to grow up and realize it is our psychology that needs to change before anyone can stop money going to military projects.
    Being number one in the world is not regulated by how fast you can deliver a bomb. Maybe, if we slow down, take the time to think it through, as a culture not just individuals we can find a way to teach our children how to change the future. And deliver, care, food, travelers and helpful resources to the other side of the world in 12 minutes.
    Lets all of us commenters show how we can work together. Maybe congress will pay attention.

    It is not going to be a patriarchal, macho man who is going to unite the cultures of the planet. If it is a man who unites us he will not be doing it with chevrons on his shoulders. One simple way to change is equality, equanimity and tolerance. These are psychological terms for human behavior. These terms need to be dealt with before any real cultural change will happen. At least I prefer head changes over missile heads.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • NielsG

      Same old issue. Technology advances way outstrip advances in social policy. We'll have unemployment at 50% within 25 years due to automation and robotics, and yet we're not dealing with how to help those people, or find new things for them to do. Once a computer can design computers and systems better than Humans can, watch out.

      Google Time Magazine, Singularity. Interesting read.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
      • Lomunchi

        Um, small economics lesson: When labor becomes cheaper than the price of the automation, labor takes over the tasks. There's a balance. Thinking that automation creates unemployment kinda got tossed in the 70s. sorry.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Layne

      Competition isn't the enemy here, and harmony isn't the answer to everything.

      Competition leads to inequity. I can't deny that. But it also leads to progress, and you can't deny that. Without competition there is no evolution, no change. We'd still be sitting naked in trees without competition.

      Survival of the fittest is never fair. But it took us from bacteria to Mach 20 air travel. I'd be very hesitant to rewire competition out of mankind.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Reply
      • Duality is the key. What is the lock?

        Layne,

        I agree with you. We humans at this stage of the game seem to need motivation to create. To create anything, which we as a whole deem progress needs motivation or an impetus to get started. If motivation is "competition" for you so be it.

        Motivation for me is cooperation, not I can do it better by myself or my company can do it for more profit, better than your company or my country is better than yours. My child is smarter than yours because of grades? Under what guide lines do we judge better, individually or as a collective?
        The survival of the fittest is based in stresses in the environment, not competition. We humans made the word competition up. Do the two animals eating the same food think of it as competition? We cannot say due to not being a bird brain but, I can say only humans have words such as "competition."
        The cycle of life is without argument. Life begets death and death begets life. If we choose to define it as "competition" to create an illusion of its need for progress I truly don't give us, as an earth culture much chance. If it is always about one entity being better by what ever mechanism of judgement used, than we create separation not unity.

        Cooperation, working together, tolerance and equanimity are much more harmless was to progress the human situation on planet earth. Sustainability will have less of a chance under the guidelines of competition than harmony, balance and care. No, harmony by its self is not the answer.

        We are not separate from anything at the core of existence. The earth and all that which is on it was created from elements of the periodic table. These elements are envisioned the same as we envision the solar system, a central object and other objects spinning around it, as is above so below. We are all part and parcel and that paradox confuses things. How can we be a separate, a part and a whole at the same moment in time?

        August 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  29. se58

    So how much is this going to cost the American tax,payer's remeber the United States doesn't have the money to give to have this space craft built untess our government is lieing to us.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • Goofieballs

      It will cost us nothing (more), this apparently failed and there is no more funding for another attempt.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Reply
      • ccp sucks

        Trade with china causes debt with china. Tariff their goods, party off our debts, then build a million of these things. Good game china, maybe another chance in 5000 years. But we own china now.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
      • Yer Dum

        Any tarrif on imported goods ends up hurting domestic consumers in the long run... Maybe the government should cut taxes across the board, and then step back and let economical balance regain itself... I'm thinking congress, Obama, economical advisors, etc. should go back and take basic college economics. They'd have this country squared away in a matter of months.

        August 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • MN

      *lying

      If you're going to level critical comments (justified or not), spell them correctly, otherwise you just seem stupid.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
    • Corinnian

      We're actually funneling this money directly from you, se58. That's one thing we forgot to mention. CNN can we get a "redo" on all of your articles on the debt ceiling, please? Make sure you make an amendment in all of the articles stating that we're getting most, if not all of our money from one tax payer, se58. I think his name is actually se58 too. No surname. Oh wait, maybe 58 is his surname. I don't know, who cares... we just want his money.

      Thanks.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
      • Steve-O

        Like (thumbs up)

        August 11, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • AbsolutelyDying

      I'll be honest, with your grasp on the English language, I'm really having some problems taking you seriously.....

      August 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • ?

      Yeah, you're right. We should stop progressing and go back to horse and carriage. Nice spelling by the way.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Reply
      • Corinnian

        My horse and carriage can make it to Los Angeles in under 12 minutes. Wait until you see our advancements in horse technology and the subsequent 3D animated sequence of this technology in action!

        August 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • ccp sucks

      Ignore the chinese desperately trying to talk us out of this. this ensures supremacy over china and they are very upset.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  30. Goofieballs

    Update 11:25amET – DARPA just flushed itself down the toilet

    August 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • Corinnian

      We recommend

      Kelly Rowland accidentally unleashes her breasts during concert

      August 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • Look at DARPA's site

      You do realize that they never intended to have this thing land so yeah...they're going to lose contact with it. It was going to be launched, go thru several "tests" and then have a controlled course adjustment into the ocean. According to the twitter feed there was almost 30 minutes of time between launch to crash which would be more than enough time to get thru all phases.

      Wish they had pictures, I'm sure that was one HECK of a cannonball!

      August 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • Justin Abata

      this is my theory: why do they build an aircraft that has to fly against all that air resistance ? all that heat that builds up in front of the aircraft is wasted energy can that can be propelling the vehicle instead of slowing it down. In reality, a better design will have the surroundings work for the aircraft and not against it.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
      • Corinnian

        Hello Justin! Great question! As I stated earlier, we're sponsored by Papa John's Pizza and in order to meet the needs of our sponsor and their customers we had to .... narrow the time between cooking and delivery. The simple answer is that the excess heat is required to cook that pizza while it is in flight. By the time it makes it to your home you'll have a high quality, piping hot pizza from Papa Johns.

        Thanks for your support!

        August 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
      • GnatB

        Apparently you know more about aerodynamics and friction than the people who built this thing, huh? I'm no aerospace engineer, but I must admit to being rather curious about how one would use the heat resulting from (presumably) friction as propulsion?

        August 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
      • Lomunchi

        That was called NASP, the National AeroSpace Plane (it left the atmosphere and came back down). I think it got cut years ago.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
      • Brett

        The only way to prevent heat from building up on the front is to run it in reverse.

        August 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  31. BDub Iowa

    It's all and well, but you'll still have to wait 4 hours at the airport.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • Clif

      At those speeds, you couldn't use it for human transportation - the g-forces from the acceleration would be too great. You could use it to ship freight, or military equipment, that's about it.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • FEMA

        or maybe use it to ship water to the SuperDome

        August 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  32. jrc

    Total Cost per aircraft ....The US Deficit plus The US Deficit

    August 11, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • Oliver

      Absolutely, but the CEO of the company who commercially markets it will still be banging on about 'individual responsibility', 'self-reliance' and how entrepreneurship and bootstrapping are the hallmarks of success, not 'government interference'

      August 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  33. pilzer

    Yea, sadly the military gets the most funding. Therefore they can allocate resources to areas that may both have success and failure. Kudos to the successful areas (mainly medical and communication). Boos and jeers to the unsuccessful areas (oh say anything in the Middle East and other "policing" actions. I do not yet see the commercial applications applications of a mach 20 wedge, but indeed it does look like a Star Wars battle cruiser!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • scott

      yeah, all 20% of the budget... the same as social security and discretionary projects, and less than Medicare/Medicaid...

      August 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  34. iGOTANidea

    Sell the blue prints to the Chinese for a mega zillion dollars .. NoMO deficit ... but prepare for a name change .. FLY LICE

    August 11, 2011 at 11:47 am | Reply
    • ffs

      Then watch your new Chinese overlords rape and pillage your lands with their supersonic fighter plans.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:56 am | Reply
      • checkyofacts

        Getting raped by a Cinese dude probably wouldn't even hurt that much. #imjustsaying

        August 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
      • Brett

        Ha! You go first...

        August 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Curly

      wud ya do dat for

      August 11, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  35. spacemaggot

    They only state they lost telemetry. Which means that they activated the overthruster and the vehicle passed into the 8th dimension... look for hints on Prof. Hikita's facebook page.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • Mr Optimist

      Does this mean red lectroids will soon be arriving?

      August 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Reply
      • Bob Bitchen

        No it means the blacks are in New Jersey!

        August 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Clif

      Buckaroo Banzai for the win! πŸ™‚

      August 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  36. P MIL

    This isn't a technology invented by DARPA. A university in Australia had the first successful hypersonic flight using a scramjet engine, but it was about as slow as a hypersonic flight could get and still be hypersonic. Note that this article does not reveal the technology DARPA is using for the engine. DARPA has built off NASA's scramjet technology and still works with NASA to try to get it right.

    NASA's first successful scramjet flight was at almost Mach 7, much faster than the Australian flight and a new world record. Their second flight a few years ago broke that record by accelerating to and flying at Mach 9.6, which is still the world record for an air-breathing machine. NASA's program was discontinued for lack of funding. DARPA is just refining where NASA left off, but using NASA's expertise to do so.

    DARPA is right. At these speeds, you just rip the air apart. Conventional low speed or fighter jet speed aerodynamics do not apply. The air changes state (no longer a gas, solid, or liquid) to convert into a plasma.

    Why does it go into space when it is an air breathing machine? Because they have to get it up to very near the speed they want to test. The primary engine doesn't operate until it is in the atmosphere again. A successful test is not that the engine functions at all, but that it manages to accelerate the vehicle. Accept nothing less.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • General Doogie MacArthur

      Wow, I had no idea Chuck Yeager was Australian.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Reply
      • Jef

        Chuck Yeager was the first to fly supersonic, going past Mach 1). Hypersonic however starts at Mach 5.5.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  37. Kevin

    DARPA is also responsible for the first packet switching network that later became ... the Internet. Everyone knows how much of a waste that was.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • Luigi

      That and they had the vision (unlike IBM et al) to realize that someday we'd need to be able to send large messages (streaming video, anyone?).

      My comment about IBM has to do with the memory hole in the PC. "Nobody will ever need more than 640K..."

      August 11, 2011 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Corinnian

      I am actually faxing all of my comments to CNN directly and having someone post them for me there and then they fax over any responses that I may have and also any comments I might find interesting. I refuse to use the 'internet' directly.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:58 am | Reply
  38. Bubblehead

    "What goes up, must come down, Spinning wheel goes rooooooooooooound and rooooooooooooound" FLUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSH.. what was that being flushed down the toilet? Oh another Multi-Billion dollar DUMBASS DARPA project. Sticks and stones were so much easier !!!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Corinnian

      We've only scratched the surface when it comes to sticks and stones technology. My colleagues and I are working long, hard hours to bring the advancements in sticks and stones technology to you and your family. We'll be uploading a video simulation of our latest break-through very soon! Keep your eyes peeled and thanks for your support.

      All the best!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
      • Sailor

        Corrinian...1 point....Blabbering, Ungrateful Idiot who has no business using a computer that was invented for common folks like himself...0.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Jim908

      Bubblehead,

      Since your reply was pretty ignorant, I am going to copy and paste the same response I posted to jay....

      Information gained from these programs goes on to change your life in ways you probably don't even understand. I'm a mechanical engineer for a particular aerospace company that I'm sure you've heard of, and I have been following research and projects like this for years. While the military is and always has been interested in these sorts of test, the technology developed for weaponry and military vehicles is almost ALWAYS implemented into products that you will come in contact with either directly or indirectly. The ceramic used in invisible braces, translucent polycrystalline alumina, was a result of a program related to the development of heat seeking missiles. Your argument is like saying we should have stopped developing the jet engine once ww2 ended because Nazi Germany was the only country with it and they were no longer a threat to us.

      It is really evident by your post that you have a very "liberal arts" based education (if any), and that you have little appreciation, and likely even less understanding for the merit of these types of projects. You see this as purely a "waste of money" and have no idea just how much we gain from a project like this. I doubt very highly that you have any understanding of the complexities of hypersonic flight, or the limitations which we have here in wind tunnels and such and the need for research like this.

      Maybe It is time you just go back to yelling "hope and change!!!" and leave opinions on projects like this to the intelligent and well educated.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:50 am | Reply
      • liberalista

        Wow, Jim, you had me right up until you took that unnecessary swipe at those of us educated in the liberal arts. I'm a Spanish major. Does that mean I can't appreciate and support scientific achievements? No. And, for what it's worth, you don't necessarily have to be educated at all to do so. Get off your high horse.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
      • T-Ray

        Jim, very well said. I couldn't agree more.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
      • USNavy2011

        Very true, it's great to continue to innovate and enrich our lives with continued technological development. I think most peoples opinions are based on the political state of our government. Most objections should be placed on the political system that we have allowed to develop over the last 20 years. These programs in particular are a few instances where they are doing something right.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
      • Sikandar

        @jim908 What's up with "dissing" a liberal arts education, you pompous ass? I, for one have a liberal arts education AND "get it". I understand and appreciate science and a variety of non-science disciplines. Can you make the same claim? I thought not.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
      • deharp

        As a fellow aeronautical engineer all I can say is....well said! Too many people comment on these articles who havent a clue what they are talking about. Maybe we should have studied philosophy and act like we know it all like some of these people πŸ™‚

        August 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
      • shawn

        I think most people are discouraged with the world and its inability to solve simple problems. We will never become a great society unless we put others first and that is not happening. There are great forces at work, and common man cannot change those influences. Yes there has been great strides in technology, yet purpose and meaning to life seem to allude man. There are days of excitement and contentment, but usually days of fear and disappointment, coupled with anxiety. There is only one hope for mankind, and we cannot as a people bring it about. We can only wait, and hope. Meanwhile living in a peaceful like way of interaction with each other.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
      • Bob

        Nice job Jim!!

        August 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
      • Fisch n' Quips

        You had me at hello and lost me with your own ignorant personal attack/rant on others. But you want to get personal? I am one of the liberal arts based educated and believe this news to be tremendous and exciting! However, I don't find the same elation in your misuse of quotations. If you meant to add irony to your statement about the individual's education, you poorly constructed that criticism. And if you meant no irony at all, then I believe your self proclamation of being "educated" was premature (see the irony there?!). Furthermore, maybe before you judge others on their judgments you should take a deep breath and think it through a little. Besides, I'm sure that there are many people proclaiming "hope and change" for political as well as scientific and/or military breakthroughs. And I'm equally sure that many conservative Tea Party members are outraged with military spending. So next time beware the implications of implying... When you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and ME.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
      • FEMA

        Jim is a science major so he's better the rest of us who are in the Arts.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
      • Sailor

        Jim908, you had me at hello but then lost me in your goodbye. Please remember that the arts and literature folks who yell "hope and change" aren't all unaware of the great technological strides Man has made throughout history. I am married to an electrical engineer major who fortunately does not have the arrognance that is being displayed by some of the obviously frustrated commenters in this blog. And thus, I don't assume that scientifically-minded individuals like yourself have a superiority complex. High powered intellect has many genres.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Luigi

      Yea, like that Dumass project that became known as the Internet.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
      • Corinnian

        Oh yeah! The Dumass Project, didn't Tom Clancy write a book about that?

        August 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Jim

      Tell 'em, Jima908. I get so tired of ignoramuses who just dont understand hoiw technology and science advances, and acturally dont understand that they dont understand. As the late, great Carl Sagan used to point out, virtually every advancement in the knowledge and technology of our species began as pure research into somthing totally unrelated. He used the example of Maxwell doing what people thought were useless experiments with electrical currents and magnets. Like, how could that have any relevance to anyone? Maxwell himself had no idea where it might lead, he was just doing research. But it let to the discovery of electomagnetiism, and subequent devleopment of radio, tv, radar, understanding of nuclear processes, computers, medical technology- etc etc. Your example of the ceramic technology was also an excellent one.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  39. JordiSD

    DARPA cannot make even a good animation of the flight...

    August 11, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Ranxorox

      I hope that is an animation and not live data driven model of the actual flight. The inverted nose dive at the end is not promising.

      August 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  40. Corinnian

    Update 11:23aET – DARPA has lost contact with the HTV2 – Game over – You've crashed into the ocean! :[

    August 11, 2011 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Jeremiah

      right now, on some flight controller's monitor are the words "you have been eated by a Grue..."

      August 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  41. Tha Chikin

    Come on guys... you can't expect to do something great without some miserable failures. Yeah a lot of money was dumped into the sea the first time around. Yeah, it stinks but, if we just give up and do nothing further, what does that get us? Giving up would mean that the money the government forked out WAS a total waste.

    A perfect example is the Wright Brothers... how many times did they fail? A BUNCH! They kept going, kept trying, risked their lives, money, and now ALL of us benefit from their hard work. Look at it this way, the people that helped build this thing have jobs... the people that provided the materials have jobs... thus it stimulates the economy. So quit crying about it!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:39 am | Reply
    • Coe

      You have to love this Gov. Talking about resession for me and you but we have a plane that can do Mach 20. God bless the USA

      August 11, 2011 at 11:51 am | Reply
      • Tha Chikin

        I am not an economics guru by any means but I do know if the government just holds onto their money and doesn't spend, we will wind up in a depression. They spend to stimulate the economy. Overspending is not good... but not spending at all is even worse!

        I for one LOVE that they are trying to figure out a better way to travel. It is a golden ticket to the future.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • RickBen

      Yes, these people being critical are the same leftys who feel we'd be much better off to give these billions to the 'needy' so that they could have cell phones, hi-def tv, and plenty of cigs to smoke while they sit on their butts and contribute nothing. Yep - we'd be so much better off if we all still lived in caves, but they were all the sime sized caves...

      August 11, 2011 at 11:54 am | Reply
      • Tha Chikin

        That was awesome! SOOO true!

        August 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
      • Frank

        I would say you are probably incorrect. More than likely it is individuals who are related to the tea party. The same individuals who want the government to be so small that it is irrelevant. The same individuals who tend to be evangelical Christians, who despise science and see it as the work of the devil. Indeed their are leftists who would like to an expansion of entitlement programs, but only the most extreme environmentalists despise science and its developments. Such a group of leftist is much, much smaller and less politically influential than the religious right. Even Al Gore and his supporters would tout the benefits of our research programs and would want an expansion of them. This is something the right would call wasteful, and if it created jobs, it would be the socialization of our country.

        The current animosity towards science in this country is related to abysmal state of our schools and to the religious animosity towards the laws of nature, the same laws that do not require a God.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
      • Tha Chikin

        Regardless Frank, you can't make everyone happy. There is always going to be someone to say they don't like this, or they don't like that. Thankfully, we all have the right under our Constitution to express it.

        I totally agree with you that there is not enough interest in Science (among other things) in our schools. Then again, our Public Schools are a joke and most kids can barely read. It's pretty sad. There are some pretty bright kids out there that make up for the rest of them... they are like bright shining stars!

        It also drives me crazy that whenever there is a discussion about science, religion is always dragged in. They aren't even in the same ball park. **shakes head** Science is universal... it doesn't matter what "God" you believe in... an apple still falls from a tree because it subject to the laws of gravity.

        August 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  42. madness

    IT IS A REEAAAALLLLYYYYY GOOOD IDEA TO MAKE TESTS LIKE THIS WHILE CHILDREN AND BABIES ARE DYING OUT OF HUNGER AROUND THE WORLD......

    August 11, 2011 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • TheMovieFan

      Is it necessary for you to obnoxiously post in all caps? Doing so does not make your posting more relevant or important than everyone elses. As a matter of fact, it is a sign to me to skip your posting and go straight to the next person's posting.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Learn2Think

      Yes, we should halt technological advances to assist countries that cyclically have the same issues. Overpopulation sucks, nature finds solutions.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • dpnelson1978

      You're right MovieFan, but it does make it obvious that he is kidding.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Corinnian

      You ...just... don't... get it. This device can deliver food into starving baby-children's mouths in less than an hour. In fact, we're so confident in our new "humanitarian delivery" service that if we don't deliver our food on time our customers can file a complaint about it on our interactive website that will be online very soon. It should be noted that we're sponsored by Papa John's Pizza.

      Don't forget to 'like' us on facebook!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:51 am | Reply
      • General Doogie MacArthur

        Have you ever seen food go into a baby's mouth at mach 20? Not pretty, man. Not pretty.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
      • Corinnian

        I just received my pizza from Papa John's in roughly 2 minutes after my phone call. Thank you Papa John's Pizza and DARPA for your high-speed delivery technologies.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • DeeperThanU

      Yeah dufus, the children of the future will appreciate this work when help gets there in an hour instead of 24 in an emergency. Quit this stupid unscientific mindset before you become a grunting caveman unwilling to try anything new.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Tha Chikin

      There will always be someone in the world that is hungry. It has been that way through out history. Right now, a lot of the problem is, the human population is too large for the Earth to sustain. I am not saying that people deserve to die; everyone has the right to live... but, this is a very real problem and it is getting worse every day.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:58 am | Reply
  43. HL

    Awesome. Go USA!
    For all you naysayers, DARPA brought is the Internet, probably the most revolutionary communciation platform in the history of our race. Don"t be shortsighted. What the scientists learn as they work on these types of projects often has many commercial applications.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:36 am | Reply
  44. gsl

    Remeber what Thomas Edison said:"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

    August 11, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • Tesla Fan

      Thomas Eddison, stole most of his "inventions" from Nikola Tesla!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:40 am | Reply
      • Your Mom Fan

        Telsa stole most his inventions from your mom.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
      • Tezcatlipoca

        Actually, Edison took very little from Tesla – he was too busy trying to crush everything Tesla did (because Tesla's approaches threw out most of Edison's concepts – how would you like to live right next door to a power plant). Of course, the hundreds of Edison's patents mostly came from some unnamed researcher in his labs. Don't get me wrong, Edison did come up with several revolutionary inventions, but a great deal of his success came from nameless people we'll never know about.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  45. Sick of This

    Check this out:
    Proving correct everything that's said about out-of-control pentagon spending, Dubai company Anham overbilled the U.S. $4.4 million - one small part at a time.
    According to Bloomberg:
    $900 for a $7.05 electronic control switch
    $4,500 for a $183.30 circuit breaker
    $3,000 for a $94.47 circuit breaker
    $80 for a small piece of drain pipe worth $1.41
    $900 for a water level control switch worth $7.05

    The Pentagon will invest up to 42 million dollars in a program that will monitor and influence social media websites, such as twitter. http://wlcentral.org/node/2108

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/anham-dubai-company-overbilled-pentagon-by-44-million-2011-7#ixzz1UjaIUV1V

    August 11, 2011 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • TheMovieFan

      What does that have to do with this story?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • Luigi

      How does this prove *everything* that has been said...?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
      • TJ

        It proves that our government spends money without question. If you or I did that we would be in trouble.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Jason K

      This is truth. Thanks for the figures and sources!

      If the @$$holes at the Pentagon bought their supplies at Home Depot and Staples, I can only imagine what they would have saved us in future debt 15 years down the road.

      But, there is the possibility that those prices are correct, what with all the ridiculous inflation and all from the constant devaluing of global currencies.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  46. Jay

    Why should we test about hiting the target while we advice others to cut their missile tests.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      This isn't a missile. It's a transport vehicle, designed to transport items to locations where they're needed quickly.
      As opposed to missiles, which deliver warheads to a target.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:31 am | Reply
      • Jay

        Thanks for the clarification. Its good as long its used to make the world a better place to live.

        August 11, 2011 at 11:43 am |
      • Deer Jerky

        Yes, Like a NUKE

        August 11, 2011 at 11:49 am |
      • Jason K

        I'd rather see more money dumped into the teleportation experiments being done at Toudai (Tokyo University) They have made significant progress can now literally teleport information. Simple raw materials like iron or water would be fantastic. It would also cause a lot less collateral damage than a 13000 mph care package landing in someone's living room.

        August 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Jim908

      Jay,
      Calm down a little. Information gained from these programs goes on to change your life in ways you probably don't even understand. I'm a mechanical engineer for a particular aerospace company that I'm sure you've heard of, and I have been following research and projects like this for years. While the military is and always has been interested in these sorts of test, the technology developed for weaponry and military vehicles is almost ALWAYS implemented into products that you will come in contact with either directly or indirectly. The ceramic used in invisible braces, translucent polycrystalline alumina, was a result of a program related to the development of heat seeking missiles. Your argument is like saying we should have stopped developing the jet engine once ww2 ended because Nazi Germany was the only country with it and they were no longer a threat to us.

      Maybe it's time you stop thinking of this from the standpoint of a liberal and more from the standpoint as a part of a great civilization?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • JKR79

      Don't be so sure about that!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • TheMovieFan

      Thanks, Wzrd1, for pointing out what should have been obvious to anyone who spent the time to read the article or who was capable of comprehending its contents.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
  47. humtake

    I'm a huge science and technology geek, been doing it my whole life. But I am getting tired of reading about all of the great things they are creating but we never see. Our imaginations allow us to believe that these things will happen within our lifetime. They won't. Just get used to it.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      DARPA typically doesn't make a finished product, but proves a technology, then releases it for finished product production to the various branches of service and even to the public.
      Like the technology that you're using right now, the internet.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:33 am | Reply
    • SG

      Then you aren't really a science and technology geek, are you? S&T nerds find things that people say are impossible, and then tear the walls down in order to make it happen. We've already teleported the smallest of particles. We've already invented "invisible" cloaking technology. What is to say we won't be able to send humans and goods across the continent in mere minutes? The ONLY thing stopping us is people say that we "can't" or that it "isn't possible". Be positive, think big πŸ™‚

      August 11, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • Luigi

      Pretty much what Wizard said – You used the Internet to make your post and it clearly happened within your lifetime!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:50 am | Reply
      • General Doogie MacArthur

        Assuming that he was still alive when you posted this...

        August 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  48. Deep North

    DARPA website says they have lost track of the thing! More funds down the tube!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      So, a destroyed test craft is a total failure? By YOUR standard, we'd have no satellites, as the vast majority of our rockets blew up on the pad until the late 1950's.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:32 am | Reply
      • RandyB

        According to the DARPA site, the final phase was to dump it into the ocean. So even if something went wrong in the glide phase (which it was for almost 30 minutes) then a lot was learned and the final outcome was the same. Nothing lost, everything gained.

        August 11, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  49. Wolfe

    I think Einstein said it best "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

    August 11, 2011 at 11:25 am | Reply
  50. Al

    Great idea, but this has Obama all over it so lets drop the whole thing. After all, he's the only person in Washington that likes spending money on stuff. Amirite?

    August 11, 2011 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • Robby

      And Bush didn't???? Do you have any idea how much that moron blew on the "War on Iraq"????????

      August 11, 2011 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Wow! So, Obama got a major research project to testing phase in such a short amount of time and didn't even need congress to approve funding?
      Stop being a moron. That project is over ten years old now and congress has approved funding for it.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:34 am | Reply
      • Will

        Wow, you people can't detect sarcasm

        August 11, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Rob327

      No you are not. Defense spending is a Republican agenda. Wellfare is a Democrats spending agenda.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • jack johnson

      Can you honestly believe that this was thought up and built in 2-1/2 years? get nose out off the air before it rains and you drown

      August 11, 2011 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Wrong.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:53 am | Reply
  51. Deep North

    Does the lack of any further updates mean.....Uh OH!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:22 am | Reply
  52. jack johnson

    With aircrafts flying at the speed they now do WHY DO WE NEED BASES OVERSEAS? Bring the troops home, and protect our boarders. Look at the savings (planes,tanks, and the backups.)

    August 11, 2011 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • Maria

      If we bring the troops home, there will be even fewer jobs left around. I think that's the hidden problem...

      August 11, 2011 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Erm, wouldn't it be nice to get the thing WORKING properly FIRST?
      Our troops CAN NOT "protect our borders". It's ILLEGAL for the military to operate in any form of military or police capacity within the continental US. Google posse comitatus.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:36 am | Reply
      • jack johnson

        I did not make myself clear on my post. I did not mean to protect againest ileagle alains. I ment terriost As the federal government claims (and it should be ) is their job

        August 11, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Narf

      Yes! Protect the skate boarders, snow boarders and surf boarders! And don't forget the boogie boarders!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:42 am | Reply
      • General Doogie MacArthur

        Now THAT's funny!

        August 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  53. juan47

    looks cool cant wait til the chinese steal the blue prints and make one too

    August 11, 2011 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • acly

      I know right? I am sure there will someone within our country willing to provide them details

      August 11, 2011 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • JP

      Or another Democratic US President just gives the blue prints to them. Remember Wild Bill?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:35 am | Reply
  54. Bobbin Johnson

    If only the tax payer knew that this thing was really the size of an arrow head, and could carry the payload of a pea.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • juan47

      we'd have the BEST archers in the world tho!!!

      August 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  55. Song

    This means that this world will be destroyed quicker!!!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • General Doogie MacArthur

      If reality TV hasn't done the job, already, I think we're safe.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  56. Joe in Colorado

    Our government just can't quit with the military expenditures. Personally, I don't feel a need to "dominate" every other country out there. War is so childish.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • Bob

      Ha..."childish".

      August 11, 2011 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • Smith

      Just because the Military is testing the aircraft, doesn't mean they will use it to "dominate" every country. Maybe it will be used for commercial flight some day. Its just a test. Don't look too into it.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • Chris

      War is how ALL beings animal or human solve a situation ... how far it escalates depends on the capabilities of the animal ... but eventually one side either withdraws from the argument, one side cowers to the other participant ... or One side is destroyed ... it's fairly rare that in an important enough argument that one side goes ... you know what, you're right.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • JP

      Joe in Col.
      So what you are saying is you don't value your freedom. War as barbaric as it can be is sometimes needed. After all it dates back to the beginning of, well EVERTHING! Maybe you would rather we [US Military] go stagnet and not advance so other nations that are less prone to human rights and freedom [which I assume you enjoy without a second thought] can come and kick our a$$ and then we can listen in person to how you are feeling. It would have to be in person because it that point you probably wouldn't have the freedom to type it on a blog like this. I suggest you re-evaluate your self and beliefs if only a little bit. Oh BTW I am 20+ year active duty Air Force retired, and a combat veteran from 2 Wars, and I still believe it's needed. And I have seen trerrible things and lost great friends.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      OK, we'll do it your way. The DoD will take back the internet, it's for global domination. The government will take back VLSI chip design and confiscate every cell phone, television, stereo, digital camera, car computer, microcomputer on the planet for starters.
      There will be no further research in the US permitted on any form of aircraft or spacecraft.
      Because you Luddites want it that way.
      Would THAT make you happy, idiot?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • ghittsum

      You're really narrow minded. You do realize that many benefits to the commercial sector come from innovation and money spent on military experimentation. This includes: "communications, fuels, weather observation, power sources, protective clothing, and displays". The next time you look at your microwave oven, try to take a moment and thank your government for military spending. I know I would be excited about a 12 minute flight from east to west coast. Unless of course the flights ended up cooking you from the extreme temperatures or you ended up crashing and burning. That wouldn't be very fun.

      source: http://www.inderscience.com/search/index.php?action=record&rec_id=26016&prevQuery=&ps=10&m=or

      August 11, 2011 at 11:38 am | Reply
  57. MS

    Does this mean we're close to Warp drive? Because I want off this planet ASAP.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • oxana booth

      good one!!!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • Mattick22

      ...Make It So...

      August 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Mr. Spot

      I think we all want that. :/

      August 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  58. Deep North

    It's not 11:20ET....what happened to the updates.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
  59. gsl

    Glad we have something to show the Chinese...

    August 11, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
  60. erich2112x

    The in flight meal is a tube rammed down your throat as they pour in a pot roast milk shake.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • Coach in Coach

      Stewardess, I ordered the kosher shake.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  61. Testy

    Mr. Fritz. Just wanted you to know that it is because of the military, you are able to post what you think without someone bashing down your door and putting a round through your skull. Maybe you would feel better if you moved to a country that didn't have a military to protect their rights to free speech. Then you could call the US to protect you and not pay for it. Just wondering.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • true liberty

      Well can you please explain how the military is protecting our freedom of speech in Iraq, Libya, Germany, and Japan. By the way since 9/11 so many of our rights have been stripped and we're spending more money than ever. Not to mention our military is being stripped of their benefits when they get back from sacrificing their lives in defense of capitalism which is not democracy or liberty. Oil is not a right in the constitution. If we despise tyrants so much why do we sell so many bonds to china, and why are we so friendly with Saudi Arabia. Stop believing elementary school political science and educate yourself. Peace.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:35 am | Reply
      • Wzrd1

        So, we're in Germany and Japan to protect our oil supply? NOT because of a TREATY? Libya, a UN action, accepted by NATO, hence ANOTHER treaty obligation.
        But, people like you are scofflaws and want the US government to violate the law.
        Ratified treaties are the law of the land. Period.

        August 11, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  62. Kai

    Non-Earth technology at it's worse.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
  63. Simon

    All the money they have invested in this project, all the brilliant minds they employ, and it takes a broke veteran from near Seattle to know that friction could be eliminated pretty much altogether on this craft if they only knew what they were doing!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Oh? Enlighten us on how to eliminate friction from an aircraft blazing through the air at 3.2 miles per second? Deflector shields?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:42 am | Reply
      • Steve

        How about something like an electromagnetic field rotating around the craft. The physical tip of the craft wouldn't actual make contact with the surrounding air because the field has already removed it.

        August 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  64. eegur beevur

    Does this mean shorter naps for air traffic controllers?

    August 11, 2011 at 11:12 am | Reply
  65. Captain Obvious

    From what I can tell in the video, it looks like the military has found yet another way to make something that looks like a penis shoot something out of it.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • TJ

      ROFLMAO!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Brandon

      My neighbors at work are staring at me laugh at this comment LMAO

      August 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  66. Pete Samson

    Is Fedex taking orders for this craft? They could have 30 minutes deliveries across the globe.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • PirateRo

      FedEx? Forget that! DOMINOS!!!!!!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • bspurloc

      that wouldnt help fedex as they have a 50% hit rate to find the final destination point

      August 11, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • Edward

      That would cost some 500 dollars for a 30 minute delivery... Do you really want to pay for that? It would be very cool, but you're probably not going to afford it...

      August 11, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
      • Wzrd1

        I know quite a few folks at the FOBs that would order a pizza for that price!
        Dominos doesn't deliver to Forward Operating Bases...

        August 11, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • A.K.Skunk

      Domino's Pizza has already ordered a few.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
  67. jerry

    No in-flight meals?....no problem. Maybe not even time to pass out the peanuts.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • kev

      no more peanuts, stupid allergy people drop dead if they come within 10,000 yards of a peanut

      August 11, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
  68. Joe

    Onboard camera footage would be amazing to watch.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • Bates

      I disagree. Will be moving too fast, everything will be a blur.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
      • Snipe

        At that altitude things won't look as blurry.

        August 11, 2011 at 11:21 am |
      • Wzrd1

        I doubt you'd see through the shock front at that speed. The air would be too highly compressed.

        August 11, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  69. Merrin Of Giles

    This is fantastic! Now we can go even deeper into debt. Faster than anyone has ever travelled before!! Astounding. Of course, everyone knows that this was built for the sole purpose of delivering nuclear warheads because government still think they can win a nuclear war with a first strike. Dumbasses. They have learned nothing. They never will. The claim to transportation is simply a sideline to tell the public. Wake up sheepeople.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • J

      Wow, you are a very smart person. You should maybe be president.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • Phil

      The term sheeple is just so astoundingly ironic... I just cant understand how you people can keep using it, and not understand that. Utter morons.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • Sheepeople

      Is Sheepeople a race or angry women?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • TexasJames

      I think the point being that if "it's possible to do"... we want to be the ones who can do it. If we don't, someone else eventually will and then we're not the ones holding the big stick anymore, no longer masters of our own destiny.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • DeeperThanU

      All you weenies putting down our government research should get of the Internet [was ARPANET when our government invented it], toss your cell phones and so much more that are only made possible through such research. If we did more of this we'd literally could go to Australia in 1 hour or less...for vacation and business. If we don't do it, someone else will so SHUT UP you hypocrite phonies who enjoy everything the government does and then complain that it shouldn't. I'm proud of our scientists and engineers!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      You are an idiot. The US government can already deliver thermonuclear warheads anywhere on the planet in under an hour. Google MIRV some time. Google SSBN some time.
      THIS can deliver supplies, potentially even people, in under an hour, counting prep time.
      HOW EVIL! BAN ALL RESEARCH! BAN ALL TECHNOLOGY!
      Better yet, ban idiots from being permitted to breed.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:46 am | Reply
      • TJ

        @Wzard1: I wish there was a like button for your comment!

        August 11, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • TJ

      you have obviously watched the movie "War Games" far too many times!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Jeremy

      Was it this line that gave it away, genius?

      "8:30a – The US military is readying a test flight of an unmanned hypersonic aircraft capable of reaching any target in the world in less than an hour."

      You mean they are not talking passenger planes here. I am totally shocked.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:59 am | Reply
  70. Herb

    What a waste of money. Technology can't make up for dumb policy makers. The US is becoming the USSR of the coldwar, lots of military tech whilst more and more of its people are in living in dire straits.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      OK, stop using military technology that was developed by DARPA. Throw away your cell phone, GPS, computer and shut down your internet connection, for starters.
      OBVIOUSLY transportation is EVIL and world dominating! Why, look how the US took over the world with the internet!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:48 am | Reply
  71. Bates

    So what are the dimensions and weight on this thing?

    August 11, 2011 at 11:05 am | Reply
  72. Sofuny

    Better than the headline are the comments !!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:05 am | Reply
  73. Pleo

    Capable of reaching any target in the world in less than an hour. Why do we need this when we already have ICBMs that can reach targets on the other side of the world in 30 minutes?

    August 11, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • ROFL

      Yeah.. now you can send mother's day chocolates within hours for just $125,000 per UPS shipment!!! What a joke.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
      • TJ

        Your ignorance amuses me!

        August 11, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • JOJO

      Get to LA in 12 minutes........spend 1 hr going thru security to get on .....wait 1 hr to get to terminal gate.....wait 30 minutes for bags. Spend 1 hr getting car out of parking tolls and on freeway. Yipeee......I made it to LA.......big deal.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • Leafonthewind

      ICBMs can't change course. Plus, this may not be designed to deliver nukes, but rather conventional missles used for precision strikes on specific targets.

      @Jojo, which part of "unmanned" did you not understand? They aren't building this thing for transportation.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:24 am | Reply
      • Pleo

        At current payload rates of $10,000 a pound, it sounds like one hell of an expensive way to deliver a conventional weapon. Around $5 million dollars to deliver one 500 pound bomb?

        August 11, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • DeeperThanU

      Because it's being design to carry people...not weapons.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:43 am | Reply
      • EC

        itll be scary to see such technology used for weapons. stop spending cash on things that blow up. its literally just a waste of money. start spending on helping humanity, not harming. otherwise we, civilians, will be overpowered by a global military force a.k.a US military.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      If you had learned how to read, you'd know.
      IT IS A TRANSPORT VEHICLE. Not a warhead delivery system. We have CRAZY too many of those already.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:49 am | Reply
  74. Rycardo

    It will be a great success for America, that will keep the Russian and Chinese away and respect the norm of a super power tittle. Although the Chinese probably hack the way and grab the blue print for FREE.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • jack johnson

      And whats to stop someone from hacking it and taking control? How are they going to protect the comps. from heat on sustained flights?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
      • Rycardo

        That is so true. We will need to ask LENOVO to create a new firewall. Ahaha, That is a joke

        August 11, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  75. MarkRM

    54% of our national budget is spent on current defense or paying past military. This is repulsive and completely criminal. Anyone who supports this is completely ignorant and being brainwashed. That leaves 46% for EVERYTHING ELSE our nation needs to run successfully and in good health. We do not need to spend this much on defense. From people I know in the military, they've all said that they regularly see massive wastes of money. It's the no bid contractors charging the US $4 for a can of Coke and all the peripheral overspending. This is extremely upsetting. We surely need to be able to protect ourselves and our resources, but any expert on the military would admit that we have plenty of money to spend on military and that we overspend constantly in unnecessary ways. People need to wake the up. It's really lame. Conservatives and many democrats walk around touting this nation to be the best at everything. Meanwhile, in reality, compared to other advanced nations, we're way behind in most things, specifically education. We need to stop spending on defense and shift those funds to things that will actually make our nation as viable on the world stage as possible.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • OldRightRep

      It might do you well to do a little fact checking. You'd find that defense spending + retirement benefits are roughly 25% of the federal budget. While still a daunting amount, slightly less than 54%, try to be a little more careful with the facts if you're going to shill about something.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • LM

      I don't see how your rant against military spending relates to this article. You do realize that this is RESEARCH, the one thing that leads to new technologies, industries and jobs. Cutting research and education is what is causing this country to fall behind, and that is what is repulsive. And really what did DARPA ever produce that civilians use, oh yea the Internet for one.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • Joshua

      You got your 54% from warresisters.org, a Leftist anti-military web site. That stat does not include Fed expenditures for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Get real.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • Clark Kent

      Really? Because the (nonpartisan) Congressional Budget Office says that its only 20%. Weird.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • Robert

      He is correct, 54% is accurate when you use MATH. Which as we all know congress and the military know nothing about. His 54% figure includes all the other "crap" like the war in Afghanistan and Iraq which are OFF THE BOOKS budgets. Which means they are not included in DOD budgets. Then you add in the cost of those silly departments like Home Land Security, and the CIA and walla you get up to 54% very fast.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
  76. ROFL

    LOL ... So we're going to launch space ships to get to California faster? Using what fuel? Even more ridiculous... when catatrosphic failures send the "device" into outer space... without a mission control managing each flight... and IF it does successfully make flight... the re-entry maneuvers, missing heat shield tiles, and extensive gravitational forces upon the human organism will make MOST passengers die. Is this intended to be used to "ship within one hour?" It's ridiculous. Who's working Public Relations in our government? A fourteen year old? This is a mess.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • Matt

      No, we're not going from California to New York with these. It was to illustrate the speed. Read the article and understand the military application of this craft before you embarrass yourself further. Sheesh.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
      • TJ

        Nice bro! Great minds do think alike!

        August 11, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • TJ

      Apparently you did not learn how to read. The title of the blog infers that the speed attained by this craft would be the equivalent of traveling from NY to LA in less than 12 minutes.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
    • brian

      Are u that out of touch with reading comprehension that u didnt see in the first couple sentences where it said UNMANNED ? Go back to school befre u rant some retarded crap without even comprehending what u just read .

      August 11, 2011 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • jack johnson

      The articale stated that it was an unmaned aircraft (like it's a drone) this for delivering war materials like bombs, missels

      August 11, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • Leafonthewind

      ROFL, your ignorance and lack of reading comprehension skills would be amusing if they weren't so universal these days. Try again . . . come on, you can do it . . . we'll wait for ya.

      Okay, so which part of "unmanned" did you not understand? This isn't a passenger plane. Besides creating the ability to deliver a precision strike on a specific target anywhere in the world in under an hour, this project is also allowing us to learn more about how different components and materials respond to extreme speeds and heat.

      If you have no interest in science, click on the Entertainment link.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:40 am | Reply
  77. MARK

    If you that's impressive, I ate at red lobster yesterday and the buttered shrimp went from my plate through my body and into their commode in about 5 minutes. Beat that NASA !

    August 11, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • PabloPablo

      Buttered Shrimp enema?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
  78. Jack Be Humble

    Perhaps this delivery system will make our existing attack submarine fleet obsolete, saving lots of money that way? This seems like a much more efficient method of delivering nuclear weapons anywhere in the workd quickly, than relying on subs.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • ROFL

      Sure... Right... NOT. Launching space vehicles is less expensive than launching a ship from a dock? Nice try.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
      • That Navy Guy

        As other commenters have pointed out, think before you speak. It costs ALOT of money to deploy and maintain a submarine. Not only does it cost to have it launched from a dock, but you have to pay the crewmembers, pay to train new crewmembers to be on the subs to replace the ones already there, pay for the maintenance costs of the subs, ETC. So having a site to launch a few of these armed with nuclear weapons COULD save money.

        August 11, 2011 at 11:27 am |
      • jack johnson

        Considering the cost of subs, maint of the ,crew, and the dangers subs endure It would be alot cheaper because they would not be patroling constantley

        August 11, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • dznutz

      Oh, I didnt know maroon 5 lead singer also wrote for cnn.
      This is some cool stuff.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • Ian

      We put our nukes on subs so that they cannot be taken out before we have a chance to launch them, not for any range reason. ICBMs from land are probably more accurate, but they can be destroyed more easily.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • Leafonthewind

      There was nothing in the article about nukes.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:43 am | Reply
  79. PaKettle

    Settle down Fitz...

    This is amazing tech...most of the tech today sprouted for military or space race R&D...this is how the world works...

    August 11, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
  80. DJ

    annnnnd why is this needed?

    August 11, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Kai

      because we can't be flying in airplanes forever. technology has to evolve, dear.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
      • ccaze

        but I don't like change. It scares me. Why can things be great like the old days?

        August 11, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Deepak

      we need these to attack the nations who gave us the credit so that all the debt is wiped out in less than 60 minutes.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
  81. Luciano

    of what possible benefit is this to anyone???? given the grave economic and defict conditions of this government and country ...is this really money well spent???

    August 11, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Deepak

      we need these to attack the nations who gave us the credit so that all the debt is wiped out in less than 60 minutes

      August 11, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • Flow

      This is money well spend indeed ; these kind of projects trigger lots of thing. It calls for engineering breakthrough in numerous fields : how to build materials to resist such high friction, how to design the shape of the plane to be more efficient and save fuel, how to implement navigation system and corrective measures for such high speed... and so on.
      This researches create innovations that are later used for other fields, it is essential to be in the lead of science for America. That's the way to create job and growth.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:25 am | Reply
  82. NOT MY CHAIR

    whats the point in doing this? i thought our country was broke? this can not be cheap

    August 11, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
  83. SDG01

    "3.6 miles per second" Nice

    August 11, 2011 at 10:54 am | Reply
  84. Sharkface

    Yeah, there will never be peace in the middle-east or anywhere for that matter until they love thier children more than they hate us!!!

    August 11, 2011 at 10:54 am | Reply
    • abd

      KISS MY A$$, did u read the article

      August 11, 2011 at 10:59 am | Reply
  85. bigfoot

    This vehicle doesn't accelerate to Mach 20 on its own power. It reaches that speed by falling down to the Earth, much like the space shuttle when landing. Unless it can attain Mach 20 under its own power, I doubt it has any use in commercial transportation. From a military point of view, it's a great bomb delivery system. Put 100 of these into orbit, and any place on Earth can be hit within 12 minutes.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:54 am | Reply
    • Flow

      It kinda does propel itself to Mach 20. It's just a that the energy is spend first to lift it up into space and then is converted into speed as it comes closer to earth.
      That makes me wonder if it is really the most efficient way to do it. Between the energy wasted to lift all the propeller and stuff, plus all the friction, this must cost a lot of energy and consume tons of gas.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:13 am | Reply
      • Brett

        If you have something more efficient in mind I am sure the folks at DARPA and NASA would love to hear it. As of yet we haven't come up with a way to circumvent gravity.

        August 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
      • Brett

        BTW – A propeller? Really?

        August 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  86. medicm50

    That could make an impressive weapon. Imagine making weapons that rely solely on kinetic energy- there would be no need for nuclear weapons.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
  87. Danny

    One question, Can you eat before the flight?

    August 11, 2011 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • RobbD

      Yup, but quickly.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • M18T20VA4

      @RobbW – The reason why that would never work is because you would have to get the entire world to do so. If we did not spend money to keep our Military far above the rest of our world, than our power would soon be surpassed and you can fill in the blanks from there. Great idea in theory, but then again, so was communism...

      August 11, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
      • RobbW

        "The reason why that would never work is because you would have to get the entire world to do so. If we did not spend money to keep our Military far above the rest of our world, than our power would soon be surpassed and you can fill in the blanks from there. Great idea in theory, but then again, so was communism..."

        There are basically two impediments to having the whole world just get along: government and religion. One of those is a basic necessity for maintaining some semblance of order and providing public services. The other is simply a tool to force people to conform to some whack-nut's ideology. Go figure!

        August 11, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Leafonthewind

      Good grief! I realize you're joking, but really, all of y'all, which part of "unmanned" do you not understand?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:49 am | Reply
  88. RobbW

    @Bill Graham

    Yes, there are many technologies that have spun off from military projects and benefited the public at large. I don't dispute that. However, my contention is that instead of spending billions/trillions on projects whose sole purposes are to kill people and break things (and maybe someday possibly eventually lead to a medical or scientific breakthrough that benefits humankind in general), why not spend those billions/trillions on projects whose mandates are specifically to find advancements and breakthroughs in science and medicine that are designed for the betterment of humankind from the get-go???

    Why do we always have to focus on finding new forms of destruction that MIGHT have a good by-product or two? Why can't we skip the war-mongering part and focus directly on finding cures for diseases, ending poverty and hunger, advancing human knowledge, discovering new worlds, and anything else that might actually be good for humankind?

    Oh, that's right... because it would require people to stop thinking only about themselves and actually have a heart to help their fellow humans. It would require people and governments to put aside their all-consuming greed and lust for wealth and power and be more compassionate and philanthropic. It would probably mean that the Super-Uber Rich would have to settle for being only... *GASP*... MODERATELY-Uber Rich!!! God forbid!

    August 11, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • BenW

      We provide the world with trillions of dollars worth of aid, food and medicine. We must remain vigilant in the research and development of tools for our defense because the world is not a nice place. There are others in the world who's only purpose in life is to cause mayhem and destroy us by any means necessary. We have to develop new tools to defend ourselves so we can remain a beacon of hope for people who are oppressed, hungry or sick.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • alexxandro

      cool

      August 11, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • Larry

      What a very sweet and naive thing to say. We should all spend our treasure, blood, and sweat on making things better for people. That way when others who do not act that way come along we will have great stuff for them to take when they conquer us.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
      • RobbW

        Egads, Larry! I'm not advocating the complete dismantling of our country's defense! Of course, we need to defend our country. We will always need to defend our country. However, we already have the capacity (many times over) to kill anyone and destroy anything anywhere in the world anytime we want. Why do we have to keep spending trillions to develop new, creative ways of doing it?

        Yes, there are enemies out there who want nothing more than to see the destruction of our country. However, maybe if we didn't keep meddling in everyone else's affairs and trying to strong-arm them into doing things OUR way, maybe if we weren't so pompous and patronizing all the time, maybe if we didn't keep doing exactly all the things we keep telling our enemies NOT to do, then maybe people wouldn't want to hurt us so much!

        August 11, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  89. Keaton

    Hmm, its so amazing that we can acheive things like this, but it also sucks because at those gforces, nobody would survive, so no charter flights on this badboy!

    August 11, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Kyle

      G Force is a product of acceleration. Accelerate to final velocity at limits tolerable to humans and this is more than possible. Doesn't anyone watch science fiction anymore?

      August 11, 2011 at 10:59 am | Reply
    • brian

      It is an unmanned aircraft ...READ PEOPLE !!!!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:30 am | Reply
      • Tom

        It is unmanned FOR NOW at least. Don't fault people for thinking past the current technology for future use (travel, etc). Of course the first few missions would be unmanned.....

        August 11, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  90. Dwayne

    And this is costing us tax payers how much?

    August 11, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • RobbD

      ...give or take a trillion.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:52 am | Reply
  91. Sortakinda

    Is that fastre than Superman?

    August 11, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • RobbD

      Yup

      August 11, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • Ted

        ...but I remember when Superman flew faster than the speed of light and reversed the rotation of the Earth and turned back time in order to save Lois! So I'm pretty sure this thing is actually slower than Superman.

        August 11, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Alan

      I think they are going to try and use it like Superman – they hope that by circling it around the planet really really fast a bunch of times it will negate the spin of the earth and fix the economy ... cross your fingers as that is about all they have left to try.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
      • JohnDorian

        Yes, yes, then we can go back in time and impeach George W. Bush, or, better yet, not elect him in the first place!

        P.S. George H. W. Bush, however, was awesome (although still grateful for Clinton), and even came with a brain. What happened to his offspring? Oy vey!

        August 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  92. TheThinker

    Terrestrial spacecraft are soo y2k-ish... make something that will go to Jupiter in a day or two, THEN you'll get my attention.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
  93. BigMo

    How the hell do you stop that thing when it lands????

    August 11, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • Sortakinda

      YOu can't. It's like the gorilla who drove 300 yards on the golf course, but couldn't putt (on the green in one, and then another 300 yard shot).

      August 11, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • David

      The ground will stop it when in crashes

      August 11, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • timroman

      It's not designed to be stopped. CNN is reporting this story as if it is a plane. It's not, it's a ballistic missile. It crashes and explodes.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • RobbD

      ...reverse thrust Scotty.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:54 am | Reply
    • steve

      actually, as a weapon, it will most likely explode prior to contact with the ground, therefore increasing the destruction factor.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
  94. You'll never fit into those pants

    Hey look its a... ball park frank get your ball park frank. Hey whats that, it looks like a... Dick Cheney is the former vice president. Hey whats that, it looks like a giant... Pecker, a redwood pecker.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  95. PhillyMark

    FYI, DARPA is where the Internet started. That have a history of making stuff work....implausible stuff.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply
  96. Bill Graham

    Everyone who complains about hypersonic flight is wringing their hands over nothing. We've been doing it for decades. The space shuttle and other launch vehicles flew at 17,500 mph to maintain orbit. Mach 20 is nothing compared to that. The advent of commercial hypersonic flights is still a long way off, perhaps decades away. While wealthy individuals are able to afford space tourism, most of us can't even dream of that luxury. That is the reality of the situation. One thing that might push the envelope, however, is the discovery of precious minerals or fuels on a nearby asteroid. If we made such a discovery, I have a feeling we'd accelerate research and development to exploit those resources. With that development, we'd need to ensure that our space program and vehicles such as the one in this article were safe for the environment. Perhaps we should do it anyway. If and when our economy recovers, and we begin to accumulate disposable income, we'll begin to take more luxury vacations, and space travel will be more of an option. Don't believe me? We're building a space port in Jacksonville with this purpose in mind right now.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Mark

      Yes, but there's no atmosphere in space jackass.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:54 am | Reply
      • Bill Graham

        What is your point, and why was it necessary to call me such a derisive a name?

        August 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Bill Graham

      I am perfectly aware that there is a difference between space and the various levels of our atmosphere. The point still stands. We've been flying hypersonic aircraft and space vehicles for decades. Right now, most of us cannot afford the luxury of using this mode of transportation. In the future, prices will come down and more people will use these modes of transportation. In addition, we should ensure that they are environmentally sound. While I don't think ripping up air will cause any significant environmental problems, I am not a scientist. Therefore, I can't predict the outcome of hypersonic flights on a massive scale. In addition, the prospect (no pun intended) of mining nearby asteroids could mean that the commercial aspects of space travel will expand far beyond anything we can now imagine. I don't think anything I said was absurd, and I see no need for the ugly sarcasm that was directed to my comment.

      August 11, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
      • Bill Graham

        I'd like to say one more thing. I've read other articles about this hypersonic aircraft. The way it works is that it exits our atmosphere and enters space, and then reenters the atmosphere to cruise at hypersonic speeds. As far as I know, that is the way most hypersonic aircraft work at this time in our history. Later, we may develop hypersonic aircraft that can take off like an airplane and reach hypersonic speeds without exiting the earth's atmosphere.

        Thus far, I've failed to mention the SR-71. For several years, the public was not privy to the top speeds of this aircraft. Officially, the top speed was mach 3, and I don't believe that reaches the category of hypersonic. On the other hand, the exact speed of this amazing aircraft was kept pretty quiet. I saw an SR-71 take off several years ago, and it took off like an aircraft. The difference is that the tails of fire coming out of its rocket engines were much longer than anything I'd ever seen. It was also much louder than the average aircraft.

        August 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  97. Edmund Fitz

    This is absolutely disgusting. Even the founding fathers knew the military could and would get out of hand, hence the reason congress must appropriate funds annually. We have an out people, we can stop these jarheads from going any further. It's disgusting and deplorable the size of our US military. The annual military defense budget is 2/3 of a trillion. Think about that, that's annual. We are now attacking, improvished countries that don't even provoke us. Where is the honor in that. It's pure evil. The US military has become immoral and should be shut down or reduced by 90%. We are the last country on Earth doing this crap. This program makes me sick to my stomach when you think of how much money could be re-routed to quality of life issues here in the US or to cancer research for instance. When a family member dies from an illness, please re-evaluate with your own take on this article and see if it makes sense to you. The billions spent for what!!?? Can you imagine if we had those same billions for us to solve and cure disease, advance our species, help instead of kill. I personally wouldn't devote another penny to these mongrels, that do not have the people of the United States best interest at heart.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • echase

      What makes me sick is this:
      Where our tax dollars go

      $58 billion a year in foreign assistance
      Palestinians budgeted 234 million
      Pakistan 8 Billion
      ...Egypt $2 billion a year since 1979
      3 billion to Afghanistan
      Russia $68.7 million
      China, $12.9 million (really Wal-mart isn't enough)
      $647.7 million for Nigeria (Really?)
      $20 million for communist Cuba
      Canada and Australia get foreign aid from the U.S.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
      • kamereon

        Weird the you mention the "millions" that go to Palestine, but neglect to mention the "billions" that we give to israel. I absolutely agree with you, though, we should cease all military aid and handouts to israel. That alone would save between $5-15billion a year.

        August 11, 2011 at 10:56 am |
      • Dave

        I don't think Canada gets any financial aid from the US. In fact the US way behind on payment on Canadian hydroelectric power bill? ...mostly from California. Canada's economy is much healthier than most partly due to the fact it opted out of any IMF relationship a decade ago.

        August 11, 2011 at 11:01 am |
      • Liam

        Can you provide sources for your data?

        August 11, 2011 at 11:07 am |
      • StanA

        Complete B.S! Can you provide a source to these spurious numbers. The U.S is one huge mess of a country and these countries you've listed are just examples of helpless targets that are being robbed of their resources from the greedy Uncle Sam. Albeit there are meagre donations to these countries, it is the case of looting a $100 from the piggy and putting back a penny.

        August 11, 2011 at 11:11 am |
      • Barry

        I wonder how much of our tax dollars go to corporate welfare.

        And I wonder how much of our tax dollars go to pay for pet pork projects, for certain senators and representatives.

        And I wonder how much of our tax dollars are exploited by those who use Medicaid and Medicare, to finance their projects and enterprises.

        It’s time to start holding our legislators accountable.

        Perhaps we should our legislators on an allowance, like parents do for little children.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Edmund is a super lib

      All I could think of when I read your post is WAAAAAAAAAAAAA...you know, like a crying baby? IF DARPA weren't in existence doing these types of things you wouldn't be able to post your stupid comment on the internet for all to have to suffer through.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
      • beelzebubba

        Well said... but I doubt many bleeding hearts are aware that the internet is the result of DARPA wanting a robust (reliable, not easily broken) network (computers linked together).

        August 11, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • TheThinker

      Mr Fitz,
      An overwhelming percentage of every defense $ goes to paying the service personnel. Operational costs include gas and electricity, and procurement is mostly stuff like radios, trucks, and batteries. When the military needs an aircraft carrier, or something one can't simply buy on the consumer market, then it must be custom built, and this is expensive. (Ask anyone with a custom car how much customization costs.)
      Research is a very small part of the defense dollar, and it contributes to new understanding.

      So, Mr Fitz, you have stated that defense spending is "too high" without stating what an acceptable amount is. What is "out of hand"? How can the military perform its missions with less money, or which missions should the military not perform? What research should we stop? Will this space plane be acceptable if it is funded by NASA instead of the military?

      Just wondering.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
      • Thinkertoo

        You assume that we need another aircraft carrier. We don't, we have many aircraft carriers. Many more than any all other nations combined already. Remember that big naval battle we had using aircraft carr...oh wait, that was early ww2 wasn't it? That is one place money can be saved.

        August 11, 2011 at 11:08 am |
      • dan

        yes ...in answer ot your question about this project being NASA

        August 11, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Uncle Stable

      Edmund.

      While your anger is probably warranted, many of the technological discoveries that we enjoy today have come out of investment in defense and DARPA specifically. Investment is not a bad thing necessarily. It is what is the intended purpose, and if that technology can be migrated to the public and benefit us directly...it is a good thing. Just another opinion for you.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Dismantling the entire military-insustrial complex is some how good for global economy?

      Also what part of "advance our species" is not somehow served by the ideas, inventions and innovations from the battlefiled?

      Just sayin'

      August 11, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • JARHEAD

      Edmund my friend you must be a communist!!!! Reduce the military to 10% of its current strength??? Please go to the local library and read something about US history. We were at those levels before Hitler and Japan started thier military quest for world domination, they weren't afraid of us our numbers and military production was almost non-existent. Of I forgot yoou had all the books burned...

      August 11, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
    • Proud American

      Great logic Edmund, we reduce our militay by 90% with no jobs to give them, cure all of our diseases and then get slaughtered by those terrorists who are taught almost from birth to hate and kill Americans. Do us all a favor and get the hell out if you dont like bieng an American. I for one would rather have my tax dollars supporting the men and women who protect us and going to projects like this that lead to technological advancements that might get us to other worlds one day. Are you one of those b@st@rds that goes to the funerals of our fallen heros and yells absurdities at them?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
  98. RobbD

    The airlines are already trying to figure out how many seats they can cram in.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
  99. Donkey Hoatie

    "They all hate us anyhow, so let's drop the big one now." – Randy Newman

    August 11, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • RobbD

      ....Operator, Give me the number to 911- Homer Simpson

      August 11, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
      • FEMA

        Like delivering water to football stadiums in Texas. FEMA fail.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
      • Brett

        Maybe your governor can pray for rain at his next rally. Surely that will result in the heavens opening. He is the governor of TEXAS after all...

        August 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
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