August 15th, 2012
02:41 PM ET

Air Force's hypersonic test fails

By Mike Mount

A hypersonic aircraft launched by the Air Force Tuesday spiraled out of control and was destroyed before it could reach its goal of speeding to 4,600 mph, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

The third test of the X-51A Waverider was launched Tuesday off the California coast from a B-52 modified bomber aircraft and was to fly for 300 seconds, reaching hypersonic speeds of Mach 6, but only flew for 16 seconds, according to the Air Force.

Officials said a problem with a tail fin caused the missile-like vehicle to fly out of control before the main engine could be ignited, leading researchers to destroy it early.

"A fault was identified with one of the cruiser control fins. Once the X-51 separated from the rocket booster, approximately 15 seconds later, the cruiser was not able to maintain control due to the faulty control fin and was lost," said a statement issued by the Air Force.

It's unclear what, if any, information was gleaned from the test. According to the statement, "Program officials will now begin the process of working through a rigorous evaluation to determine the exact cause of all factors at play."

The Air Force plans to go public with details of the failed test in a few weeks, after researchers are able to analyze the data from the flight.

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"It is unfortunate that a problem with this subsystem caused a termination before we could light the Scramjet engine," said Charlie Brink, X-51A Program Manager for Air Force Research Laboratory. "All our data showed we had created the right conditions for engine ignition and we were very hopeful to meet our test objectives."

The Air Force had four X-51A Waveriders and has tested three. Officials said they do not yet know when or if the fourth Waverider will be tested.

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soundoff (1,873 Responses)
  1. Richard Jones

    This kind of spending needs to be cut immediately !!! We are stone cold BROKE !! We have to cut everywhere !

    August 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Reply
    • HereWeGoAgain

      Don't hold your breath for the US government, which has the #1 military in the world, to cut back on military research and spending. If anything, expect it to ramp up.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • Atsugi

      so the jobs these people do to get a pay check should be cut? the parts that are made by Boeing and Lockheed Martin should not be purchased? the designers should not be paid? hmm see how that works out in your budget plan. cut spending you cut jobs, cut jobs no money to spend, no money to spend, we go into a bigger financial hole. it is that simple.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  2. TampaMel

    The reason it is called a TEST is there is a possibility of a failure. Do the people who are complaining about this failure feel that the only TESTS to be run are the ones with no possibility of failure? Please stop complaining.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • pop

      Why complaint?

      you want to know why?
      They hire professionals. Professionals don't make mistakes. They made a mistake.... ACCOUNTANT. Supplies, materials, microship, etc. none of these were free.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  3. Reggie

    So, let me see: They could NOT figure out to divert to situation B: if malfunction–>Deploy parachute, DEPLOY PARACHUTE...hello???

    August 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  4. lburriss

    Some 45 years ago the manned X-15 rocket plane flew 4,500 mph. It routinely flew at 3,500+. I wonder where we would be today if development had continued.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  5. Buck Rogers

    Hmm, since NASA really can't 'fly' anything at hypersonic, or especially LAND a vehicle at hypersonic from LEO w/o vaporizing, then perhaps this 'test' was not a test after all....

    August 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  6. josh rogen

    the US...not quite as bad as North Korea, but with Obama's help well on their way

    August 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • Jasper Bebop

      You do realize how totally moronic you sound with this statement, right?

      August 15, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  7. lburrsiss

    Some 45 years ago the X-15 rocket plane flew at 4,500 mph. The aircraft was routinely flown at speeds higher than 3,500 mph. I wonder where we would be today if development had continued.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  8. Joe Bloe

    Obama probably made some last minute design changes to the craft.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Or your mom did.

      See how that made just as much sense?

      August 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • The X-51...

      Wouldn't that make it the Momrider and not the Waverider?

      August 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  9. Joe Bloe

    Good thing there weren't 200 passengers aboard.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  10. pop

    DAMN... YOUR LOUSY HYPERSONIC IS A FAILURE and BIGGEST TAXPAYER SCAMS IN THE US HISTORY.

    Government wasted our tax dollars to create NORTH KOREAN ROCKETS and Ask people for more FUNDS.
    Man, we bailout all failing companies. People though the rocket scientists were highly educated professionals..

    GIVE OUR TAX DOLLAR BACK....

    HEY, IRS... WHERE'S OUR TAX DOLLAR BACK??!?! BOOOOO.... BOOO... Government is not creating jobs.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • Power of Reason

      Cut Military Spending. No more exceptions. No more free rides.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
    • Joe Bloe

      Eliminate all SSI and 50% of welfare.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • TampaMel

      So everything you do for the first time is a success and if it fails you feel you cheated yourself. The only people who never fail are the ones that never try.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
    • Kyle

      I almost want to hope you're not an American, but with grammar like that you're certainly a product of our public school system.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  11. TrueGrissel

    Well that's 517 million for three balloons and at least a billion for that waste of junk which is ok as there is still some money left to take from Medicare and Social Security not to worry people.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  12. daddariokid

    Build 4 more today, get over it folks, maybe ending these crap wars and corporate welfare to Exxon/Mobil GE and the like could help the bottom line, oh and lets not forget the slack asses in congress(10% approval) with lifetime pay and benefits, we have plenty of money, Some folks just don't have balls and common sense.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  13. Brad76

    Disappointing...

    August 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  14. jsss

    Lockheed Martin should have designed it..would have worked.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • Dan Schulte

      Right on! Built to last, using slide rules and pencils, to boot.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
    • Babloo

      "get Lockheed Martin to design it". Good one, as they are the primary manufacturer for the F-22 )

      August 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  15. TheDude

    Why do I read stories about the military not having the funding they need? This is proof that plenty of money is going to our military, it just needs to be allocated better once it gets there. Don't blame the politicians for this one!

    August 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • Zack

      Are you kidding me? Look, problems come up when you are testing something new and things like this are bound to happen. Look how many rockets blew up before we got to the Moon. Think of it this way: you over fry some french fries sometimes at your job at McDonald's, right?

      August 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
      • Sgt. Balzac

        How many times are you going to say "Look"? Pretty annoying when people write "look". I'm reading the words so what the hell do you think I'm doing? I am "looking".

        August 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  16. michflaguy

    If NASA wants the American taxpayer to have faith in them again, they should try this....Instead of testing this plane a 4th time...just take $10,000,000,000 in $100 bills up in a C-130 and slowly release it out over America on a NY to LA flight over the heartland. At least THAT 10 billion would be well spent.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • 0rangeW3dge

      sounds like another Republican tax cut

      August 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
      • WDS

        Nah. if it were a Republican tax cut they'd dump all the cash over a select few estates.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Jt_flyer

      Heres a hot tip. If you actually read the article you probably won't look nearly as stupid. Big words and all.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
    • Go Science

      Did you even read the article, NASA did not test this. This is an military project, or the Airforce to be specific. This falls under the category of Research & Devolpment, which is about 20% (rough guesstimation going off the wikipedea costs chart) This project I bet is only about fraction of that %. If you want to complain about money, this is not the area to do so.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
      • Go Science

        20% of the military budget. Sorry I didn't finish that thought

        August 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Johan S

      a) This not NASA
      b) they spent only $140 million over 10 years.. not $10 billion
      c) this exercise was not to win popularity but to achieve hypersonic capability – dropping money doesn't produce a return

      August 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • random guy

      It wasn't NASA, it was the Air Force. It says so in the very first sentence.. We can see how well you read and retain information..probably just as good at making decisions 🙂

      August 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • TKing

      What in heavens name makes you mention anything about NASA. This was a USAF test, not a NASA one; I think NASA did a pretty good job of proving itself by that amazing landing on Mars.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
    • Greg

      Hey moron, answer me this. Where exactly did all the millions they spent on this thing go? I'll give you a tip...they didn't burn it. Now see if you're smart enough to answer, and you may have an epiphany.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
    • Raptor

      Hello...this is the same argument I hear all the time... The money is not "wasted" or shot into space or spread out over the Pacific... it paid American engineers, fabricators, researchers, contractors and others who then recycle the money through the American economy. This is a great jobs program and an stimulus to the American economy. Besides we benefit from all this... tons of what we think of essential consumer products came from the research for the space program.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
    • Nuno

      If you read the article carefully you'll see that the money was not destroyed ! In fact it was C-130 showerd to the hands of thousands of highly skilled enngeneers, tecnicians etc that could pay their bills and feed their families with it
      IDIOT

      August 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  17. Bass Ackwards

    http://www.airspacemag.com/space-exploration/How-the-Spaceship-Got-Its-Shape.html

    August 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  18. Rick

    Let NASA do it, the USAF only knows how to make money disappear.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
    • lou50

      apparently you don't get out much. NASA priced themselves out of business long time ago. 70% of their budget goes to NASA salary and facility maintenance. you can do the math on what is left for hardware and research since they are basiclly a monitoring service by law, they have to hire worker bees.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • robert

      and protect you and your families asses while you sleep

      August 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
      • Go Science

        Yet I feel no safer because of it, nor would i feel any less safer if you didn't. If you want to be the hero don't solicitate yourself

        August 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  19. 0rangeW3dge

    I, personally, think that imported beer is more expensive than those made right here in the good ol'e US,,,therefore people should not buy imported beer at a time of such great economic crisis

    August 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
    • Bhari

      What?!?

      August 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  20. pop

    Tell GOVERNMENT stop SCAMMING taxpayers money and request for bailouts. Blowing up one from another....

    Someone BOYCOTT GOVERNMENT'S SPENDING!!!!

    August 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  21. Melqart

    Very few top engineering graduates want to pursue a career in killing women and children, so these projects invariably get staffed with graduates of bible schools. Australia and China are years ahead of these Oral Roberts "engineers".

    August 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • Jt_flyer

      Give up already? I'll bet you do that a lot.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
    • J R Brown

      Seriously...how do you link Oral Roberts university with the Air Force engineers...?

      August 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  22. ibetigetcensored

    This screams of wasted free 0bama Money failed shovel ready project.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
    • 0rangeW3dge

      ...and you're the one doing the screaming

      August 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • Your an idiot!

      This is probably the most stupid comment I have heard or read all day. This project was around way before Obama..and probably the younger Bush....they have been talking and trying to make this technology for yeard....your officially on idiot!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  23. Chuck Yeager

    We land on Mars, and crash on Earth.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      +1, seems kind of weird that we can fly (and land) on Mars for $2.5 billion, but can't create a supersonic flying jet for $150 million.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  24. Jacob

    After reading a lot of these comments, I now see America will fall. In a world that is ever more dependant on science and technology, people no longer want scientists do any work that will not lead DIRECTLY to a commercial product. There's nothing wrong with making money off of science but the private sector won't do basic research because of it's low likelyhood to have a investment return. This is why our system use to be the best in the world, the govt would fund basic research, then the private sector would develop all the spinoff technologies.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • lou50

      you are right on we have a mass of dysfunctional people with the only life a computer to vent their ignorance and vote for Obama.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • pat carr

      true but also we're done in by an instant gratification crowd addicted to Xbox and American Idol. It has truly become Dumberica

      August 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • Bit

      Concur! The dumbing down of America. Where sports and players get more honor, glory, money than those that achive academic\scholastic break-throughs. Seriously wrong priorities.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  25. sgtjb

    Lot's of idiots in here. boohoo my 50.00 a week in FICA are being wasted

    August 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
    • lou50

      you are right

      August 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  26. Atsugi

    for all of you idiot out there wanting to comment on this story with "waste of money" "why study this" or "pointless garbage" remember that the Internet, microwave ovens, cell phones, GPS, mammograms, highways, catscan, and a whole list of advanced trauma medicine advances all came from the military. they didn't blow anyone up today no one died because of this mistake. they learned and they are moving forward. This is how you advance technology you fail. A scientist learns more from a failure than a success.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
    • sgtjb

      Bingo, but the sheeple in this country don't wanna believe that, they are all boohoo my tax dollars boohoo. DOnt like it move gtfo no one wants your free loading butt here anyway

      August 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  27. sam

    Tony Stark could build one of these in a CAVE. With a BOX of SCRAPS.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  28. dirty dawg

    The 'scram jet' is probably just a 'scam jet.' So more pentagon pig men can dip their snouts into the trough.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • Jasper Bebop

      Tell me something: When you wrote your comment, while sitting all alone at some desk, did you chuckle and kind of stroke your chin when you wrote "scam jet?" I always like to know that mindless drones get some sort of satisfaction from their non-humor.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  29. southernwonder

    the rich rather give gop billions in campaign funds than pay more in fair taxes that could help govt agencies like nasa.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  30. vtwin1540

    I just wish they would have dropped it over L/A or Chicago, could've have paid for itself in loss of welfare recipients.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • gf

      you know whats funny? the amount of money you make means you are considered a welfare recipient to the rich and powerful. im sure theyd like to blow you off the map as well. its all relative.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  31. Slappy_McGiggles

    I thought it was bigger. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  32. michflaguy

    What a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars at a time when this nation is in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Projects like THIS are why the American people should never beleive the economic numbers coming from the government. Our government has TRILLIONS rolling in every year from all our hard work in the form of taxes totaling 60% (confiscatory). This is the THIRD time this plane has crashed on test, yet we'll build another one for BILLIONS and THAT one will crash. What a joke. Wake up people...

    August 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
    • cshep

      can you not see the commercial application of this at all? I'm thinking you might have an ancestor cursing the Wright Brothers for building some crazy flying machine!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
    • tjp44

      did not cost billions...get you rfacts straight.....scramjet has been around for a while

      August 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Atsugi

      where do you think the military got the parts for this? THEY BOUGHT THEM from private industry. people like you make me sick. you think only on the surface rehash what other say and think you are pondering the great truths of life. You are just a trained parrot that repeats what you read on the internet. This does put money back in the economy. Military spending never takes money out of it,. EVER. think about where the money goes.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      Projects like this provide jobs and stimulate the economy. Please dont be so short sighted. Even though it was blown up, it was just a test vehicle anyways.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Huh, it costs billions to build? I guess you don't do research very well on costs. But you're right. Think of all the money wasted on stupid projects like these that they fund: developing the airplane design from the Wright Brothers, the Mark I (which became the internet), civic electricity, GPS devices, vaccination programs . . . what a waste!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  33. southernwonder

    if we could get the rich to pay their fair share of taxes, failures would be fewer.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
    • tjp44

      flat tax is the only way....everyone pays the same including corporations where the greatest revenue is lost.........we cannot discriinate unfairly in the tax world either......

      August 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
      • Rick

        Flat tax is a huge giveaway to the rich. They pay 15%, under the flat tax they will pay 10% and they pay NO TAX on capital gains, the majority of their income.

        Don't be a fool.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  34. les

    What is the purpose of doing all this stuff? Seems like children playng with toys.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • Go Science

      You're right its time these sciency people start acting like adults. Hypersonic jet planes, psh, time to grow up

      August 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  35. Go Science

    I will not say this is a waste of money, nor was NASA's Curiosity. Things like this happen, we can call it a setback for sure, but to say it's a waste of time and money is a gross misunderstanding of the effort that it takes to make something as incredible as this even possible

    August 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • Bobby

      EXACTLY

      August 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
    • michflaguy

      Unfortunately for your logic...the timing is completely wrong. Perhaps this money could be spent to assist homeowners who were screwed by the banks. Heck...we could even call it a 'Homeowner Bailout'. Just like the banks got from the same government spending billions on toys like this. With millions of Americans losing their homes, the timing of a 3-time loser test plane that costs billions to build each time somehow doesn't seem like the decision of an intelligent government.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
      • tjp44

        yes Michflaguy, keep believing the garbage Obama is feeding you that the government should take care of everyone

        August 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
      • Go Science

        So let me get this straight, you would have us put EVERYTHING else on hold till the housing market bounces back?
        Please do explain how that would work

        August 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
      • Mike

        Why is it the banks fault that a homeowner bought a house they couldn't afford? I bet you hate credit cards too? Guess what? It's your own fault for giving the credit card to the store to buy your toys that you thought you would never have to pay for!

        August 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
      • Portland tony

        It didn't cost billions. This was strictly a proof of concept (POC) vehicle. The scramjet used was designed in '99 for a different project. The Air force bought 4 X51A test vehicles for aprox $160M starting in 2004 and have one left. This POC was actually a prototype for a manned reuseable hypersonic vehicle which was canceled in 2008. You go figure?

        August 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
      • Bob

        And there was ole George W standing by in Crawford with his "mission accomplished" sign

        August 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Heather

      Here here!! Everyone who is saying this is a waste of money are the same people complaining about "the fall of American superiority." We have to invest in projects like this! Can you imagine when it does work? Who doesn't want to buy that Boeing that gets you from LA to NYC in an hour. Cha-ching!! And tons of jobs to boot! It is called investing in the future.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  36. pop

    Not AGAIN..... WASTE OF TAX DOLLARS.... Don't you dare ask taxpayer to built another one that's gone wasted.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • DingDongIll

      Everyone complains not my tax dollars!!!!
      I promise that 99% of you, myself included, have no idea where every penny of our tax dollars even go now. You only complain about it when you read about it on CNN, otherwise you would have no clue. Everyone has to worked up about something though, so why not.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  37. Realy REAL American 1776 then again 1776 TWICE

    See that hypersonic aircraft??????

    YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT!!!!!!!!! – THE GOVERNMENT DID!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just like YOU DIDN'T BUILD The Internet, The Electric Grid, The Interstate, or the Stealth Bomber. Oh and guess what???????

    The MARS ROVER? YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT EITHER!

    August 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • Johnny

      I agree. Freetards here on the forum think we should just stop all research and development projects. Yeah, that will come back to haunt us someday. Ideeots!

      We really need to focus on reducing waste in so many other areas, beginning with the top folks running our government.

      I hope NASA and all tech research continues. Get education back high on the priority list get our people back to work, and put the fat-cats in congress and wall street out on the street!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
      • Heather

        Agree with you Johnny. Cut the gov. department that promotes the use of cheese (honestly! It exists!) - keep the ultra cool science projects.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  38. Primal 4 Life

    Total waste on money at a time when we can absolutely not afford it.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • Realy REAL American 1776 then again 1776 TWICE

      Ha! What a TYPICAL IGRORAMUS "CONSERVATIVE".

      Without TECHOLOGICAL ADVANCES SUCH AS THIS YOU WOULD STILL BE READING UNDER A CANDLE. (which you probably still are)

      August 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
      • really really real real 1798656

        i'm as far the the left as they come, and i can't see how you don't think that military spending like this is out of control.
        there is a world of difference between creating technology that helps our lives and creating unmanned aircraft's to destroy them.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Kerry

      I'm sure they said that about the Wright Brothers as well........

      August 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • Johnny

      Maybe a waste of money for you, but science and technology must progress as it eventually benefits all people. I totally support this. What I don't support is lifetime healthcare and benefits to members of congress, and other wasteful practices.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • 0rangeW3dge

      ?????????????

      childish

      August 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • conrad

      Totally, all of life should come to a screeching halt and we should all crawl into a hole until our debt is paid.

      Activity stimulates the economy ... the sky is NOT falling.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      Yeah this could have been better spent on a new football stadium!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
      • jcav

        ahhh, that's really funny!

        August 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  39. ert

    ...D'oh!

    August 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  40. Rick in L.A.

    This is by far the BEST THREAD on CNN ever! Put it in the archives!!! Best creative minds at work today!

    August 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  41. lots of questions

    There are some things I don't get...
    I think this is not the first time than one of these prototypes crashes, which makes me wonder whether these guys have taken a look at previous data? Have they run any kind of simulation in a computer? wind tunnel? with a "toy scale" model? If they did it and are still getting this results, isn't that telling them that there must be either something really wrong about their model or something they are not seeing/considering at all?

    August 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • RKT210

      Wow. I guess we should just disband our top engineering schools and just ask you from now on.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
      • lots of questions

        If the $$$ is good, why not?

        August 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • B

        The top engineers werent that great or it wouldnt have crashed.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • Lagos

        Because we all know the best of the best never fail.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Lagos

      I'm sure it's made out of balsa wood, was never tested, and was designed by a third grader. We should put you in charge.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
      • lots of questions

        as I said, if the $$ is good I'll gladly crash some after checking the data 🙂

        August 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • terrell

      So when are you testing your SCRAM Jet?

      August 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
      • lots of questions

        When I get some funding???

        August 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  42. Cando

    Give it to Nasa. The Air Force team on this project is FUBAR!

    August 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  43. haha

    lol!!!

    August 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  44. Steve

    That is a shame but it is hard to see the merit of the article or the project. CNN covered the scram jet tests that went significantly faster.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  45. Mightaswellbe

    Eleven seconds into the unknown : a history of the hyper-X program / Curtis Peebles ; Ned Allen, eitor-in-chief.

    Read about folks.

    It is small because it's cheaper to build small, It's small because it had to fit in the wind tunnels. It's small not because it's a cruise missle but because it makes it easier to test. Once they get it working well they'll go on to build it big enough to be useful besides research.

    And yes, i am old enought to remember how our Missles always blew up, watched them on TV. That was one of the differences between us and the Commies. We put it up front for all the world to see, fail or not. While the Commies only showed their successful launches.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • lots of questions

      You mean tested in the open like the SR71 blackbird tests? Like the spy plane that went down over the former USSR some time ago? Like the stealth bomber?

      I don't think everything is in the open...and I don't think it should be a good idea to have everything in the open...

      August 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • EB

      Wow. I don't think I've heard anyone use the term "Commies" (without irony) for like 25 years.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  46. Mrmagoo

    this is where our tax dollars go? So pin heads and jar heads can play with toy planes? i tell ya America is going right down the crapper.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • jtucker4

      That's what people said about ARPANET. Good thing people like you don't make big decisions.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • RKT210

      Yeah, we should have just built a larger version, not tested it, put you on it, then see if it worked.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
      • Models74

        LOL. I have been laughing .... Smartest answer ever to an idiot!

        August 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • chia

      Practically every significant scientific and technological advancement of the last century was done by military researchers.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • adrianne

      this is part of the oh so important defense budget Ryan doesn't want to touch

      August 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • jt

      it's going down the crapper because it's full of sh theads like you

      August 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • Realy REAL American 1776 then again 1776 TWICE

      Typical IGNORAMUS "CONSERVATIVE".

      Who needs technology right? Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

      I PITTY YOU AND YOUR UNEVOLVED KIND!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Reply
    • NASA fan

      This is very exciting research. The goal for these planes is to create planes which can fly from the US to Europe in an hour. This would be a fantastic boost to our economy. Business travel would be revolutionized if business travelers could fly to Europe and back in half a day.

      The tourism industry would go through the roof if we could bring European tourists over in an hour instead of 8.

      Think of the bigger than scientists playing.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • Bring The Rain

      What are the chances something like this would be successful right off the drawing board? Cutting edge research and testing carries risk and failures will occur. In fact, I wouldn't call these failures, but rather steps in the development process. Brush yourselves off, take a look at the data, make adjustments and get right back up there and try it again till you succeed as succeed we shall. We're the United States of America. That's what we do. Carry on gentlemen.

      And oh yeah, Mrmagoo (appropriate name btw) when exactly should the human race have stopped moving forward? Should we still be on horseback? perhaps you'd prefer we never messed with that whole 'wheel' thingie. The phone perhaps? How about steam power, electricity? I'm happy to oblige, just let me know where you want me to draw the line. Didn't you type your insightful comment on a computer? Do you think they dug it out of a hole somewhere? It took electricity, plastics, transistors, an operating system, the internet, shall I continue? Let's all give up technological research – you first Mrmagoo.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • robert

      yeah and without that research you would be speeking german now....

      August 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  47. Ash314

    Some of the arguments on this story are just plain ridiculous and ignorant; on both sides of the political spectrum. What is with the Obama/Bush blame game? Grow up people and actually learn how your government works!
    We as a country MUST continue to innovate and lead the world in technological prowess. We have the means and the people to make this happen. This kind of spending has ZERO effect on the current state of the middle class in this country.
    The middle class is struggling the way it is because corporations have become so greedy that they pass an incredibly large amount of their profits to very few people up the top. GREED is what is destroying the middle class, not the choices the government makes with its defense budget. I am as liberal as they come but I would definitely support this $ be spent on this kind of research and not on "welfare". I would, however, cut the defense budget before cutting social services; it's the right thing to do in the long term, but not at the expense of innovation and technological progress.
    We cannot sustain our current model, that much is obvious, but we simply cannot continue to allow the corporations to continue to enjoy massive tax breaks while they get to send jobs overseas and leave the average American with barely enough money to eat. The middle class needs to become stronger by earning more money! This can only be done by the corporations! The government cannot fix this problem.
    I am guessing that if corporations paid people a living wage, then less of these people would end up in our welfare system which the way it is designed keeps people in the system for FAR too long.

    August 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • Carol

      Amen! Someone with common sense

      August 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  48. hrpufnstuf

    "TSA to investigate racial profiling claims."

    What the heck has THAT got to do with this article, so why was it inserted into the middle of it??

    August 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
    • Lagos

      CNN links to other articles within articles. Welcome to 5 years ago.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • SoundMan

      With so many people sick, hungry and out of work, why are we spending billions of dollars sending things to Mars and now this kind of foolishness. We can't pay our bills now!!! Come on Government....it is just common sense.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
      • Alex Handlovits

        Why is it that anytime someone doesn't agree with government spending its because there's a DIFFERENT thing we should spend the money on? As if money isn't being spent on other things too.. Do you want the entire GDP of the country spent on one single problem? Is that how fixing problems works? Is that how short sighted we as a nation are? If someone people were president we would drop all government spending on education, science, military, farming, foreign trade, healthcare, police, and public works, because as we all know the economy is the one and only issue this country needs to focus on.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  49. kevgood

    who needs Social security when we could have more of these?

    August 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
    • tcaros

      You're right it's an expensive toy just like the Mars lander.

      The Mars lander will send useful photos back of things like rocks and craters!

      This plane skipped off the water and disintegrated... excellent.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • RKT210

      Do you know how many people are employed on this program, all of whom pay into Social Security? You don't just buy a car for $25,000 – you are paying a portion of salaries and benefits for a lot of people.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
      • Lagos

        Why in the name of God would you buy a car for $25,000? Either you're poor and you buy an older used car, lower middle class and buy a barely used care, middle/middle/upper class and buy a new car, or rich and have the money to burn on a $50k+ car.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
      • RKT210

        That was just an example...I'm driving a beater right now myself. The point is that everyone thinks that this incident cost us millions of dollars because the vehicle crashed, without realizing that the loss of the vehicle really doesn't amount to much. The lion's share of the money spent on this program is an investment in science and technology. The knowlege didn't crash, and you typically learn more from failure than success.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  50. Franky

    In an ocean of fools how will we every survive as a nation and I'm not talking about the scientist who were out there yesterday trying go 6x's the speed of sound and learned something from it's crash.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  51. kevgood

    For $2 trillion you can have 1000 of these.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • RKT210

      For $2 we could have your mom...

      August 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply
      • kevgood

        you sound desperate. my mom is 76 years old lol.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
      • Lagos

        I think you got ripped off dude, just offer to give her a McNugget and she'll be all over you like the hamburgler on processed hamburgers.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
      • TheBigSarge

        dude, have you seen his mom? now mine, on the otherhand.......

        whoops! sound like a libretard selling out a family member to garner a vote......

        -TheBigSarge

        August 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Franky

      No one is trying to build 1000's of these. Jxes chrixtmas people this was an experiment, and experiment, to test a prototype. Was this a finished product that has all the answers worked out, this was done to get answers, so we can get to a finsihed product. It was done to learn , hence, why it's called "a test" flight. When you board a plane today is it called "a test" flight, no, see the difference.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  52. Franky

    Ok, and the computing maching goes back hundreds of years. What's your point? We know alot about nuclear technlogy doesn't mean we can create a star. The principles for a stealth fighter actually came from math formula's created in the late 1800's when some guy was studying polarization of light on surfaces. SCRAMJet technology has been around since the 60's, that doesn't mean we know how to control, have perfected, or can use the technology effectively, if it were the case this flight wouldn't have failed. Obviously, we are learning alot. Thanks. With your maintality the computer should still use vacuum tubes cause we figured it all out with Eniac 1 back in the 40's. jfd

    August 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  53. SurfDogg

    You naysayers are frankly wrong. This type of research and advancement in aviation is good, necessary, and creates jobs. Hardly a waste of taxpayer dollars.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      It loses jobs. all the money that went into that was taken from the private sector where it would have been spent on goods (jobs by the good manufacturers/retailers), savings (jobs of financial industry), or corporate investment (jobs by private companies). Instead it went to a bureaucracy that pays $50,000 for a toilet seat.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply
      • Yacon

        The technology the government develops in these experiments does ultimately make it to the private sector. Also, do the jobs of the technicians matter? How about the private companies contracted to work on specific components? What about the dealership that sells these employees cars, furniture, groceries, etc.? Cancel these government jobs and you lose the future technological advantage they provide, along with all the private sector jobs they facilitate. The private sector won't directly invest in some technologies until they are fine tuned by such government activities. Sure, the private sector companies that paid the taxes that made this possible might have used their money to pay someone else, but we would miss out on the benefits of this technology.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  54. southernwonder

    rush limba and real mccoy conservative want u.s. to fail while obama is president.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • Joe Joe

      well there's only 3 months left, well, maybe 5 till he's sworn out... better get moving..........

      August 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  55. beelzabarber

    There is no gravity...the earth sucks

    August 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  56. John

    This is also old technology. Scramjet capability has been functionally tested since the late sixties and on November 4th, 2004 the NASA X43 scramjet vehicle attained a speed of mach 9.8.

    I'm not certain why CNN thinks this particular project is newsworthy, other than the little-known fact that unlike the NASA versions, this air-force test model is actually a hypersonic ballistic missile test and not for civilian travel purposes.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • Franky

      Ok, and the computing maching goes back hundreds of years. What's your point? We know alot about nuclear technlogy doesn't mean we can create a star. The principles for a stealth fighter actually came from math formula's created in the late 1800's when some guy was studying polarization of light on surfaces. SCRAMJet technology has been around since the 60's, that doesn't mean we know how to control, have perfected, or can use the technology effectively, if it were the case this flight wouldn't have failed. Obviously, we are learning alot. Thanks. With your maintality the computer should still use vacuum tubes cause we figured it all out with Eniac 1 back in the 40's.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • RKT210

      Ballistic means unpowered, this is further development of scramjet technology, and the X-51 (the part attached to the booster rocket in the photo) is all of about ten feet long, but don't let facts get in your way...

      August 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
      • Marshall

        Ballistic doesn't mean unpowered. Do you think a ballistic missile is unpowered?

        August 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • chia

      All ballistic missiles are hypersonic buddy. Even those piece of crap SCUDs are hypersonic.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  57. Canopy

    Waverider eh? Interesting moniker. I wonder if it was destroyed internally or by external forces. I ask because if it was destroyed by an internal mechanism they're basically just testing a bomb.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • RKT210

      Do you actually read what you type, or do you just hit random keys? It would take about two minutes of effort on your part to learn enough about the X-51 so that you wouldn't embarass yourself like this.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  58. George Greek

    It's a crying shame listening to all the anti-government robots here! They don't complain about a multi-trillion dollar war (Iraq) that had NOTHING to do with 9/11 (and where many innocents died), but they whine and kvetch about Air Force and Aerospace science (which we were once at the forefront of), which create jobs and useful technology! You neanderthals are everything that's wrong with America!

    August 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • Franky

      Thank You. They don't even realize , they are why America is falling behind. They don't realize it's because we were at the for front of things like aerospace that we became a dominate nation. Germany took on the whole darn world and darn near one, why because, they are superb engineers and no one in their society would ask ... gee guy in 1904 why are you trying to launch that cone into the sky. I don't see the point, a duh, a duh, duh ...

      August 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Gwen

      $ talks , bullsheit walks.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  59. Jimi

    I told you guys not to let that Schettino guy drive.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  60. Dan

    Sure. The test failed. But you know what? The Air Force can take data recovered from the vehicle, make sure it doesn't happen again, and get one step closer to getting widespread SCRAMJET technology. By the way, if we can figure out how to make scramjets work on passenger plans, you could fly from New York to LA in 47 minutes. This technology is very real, and is very applicable to our lives. So the next time you're about to slam the military, NASA, or other agencies for testing things and "wasting" money, remember how much everyday technology comes from such "meaningless" tests.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • Gwen

      Well it'll be useless to the millions of people who can't afford it or are starving to death.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
      • Seriously?

        Gwen- really? Why don't you donate all your money to feed the people who procreate in the middle of a desert without two sticks to rub together? I'm more than happy to have my government invest in technology that moves mankind forward, and before you ask I live paycheck to paycheck. Think big picture.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
      • Johan S

        Those millions would all get jobs if we can commercialize the scramjet technology.. think of all the tourism that would happen if it only took an hour to go to Africa for a holiday –easy weekend getaway. Loads of new jobs will be created. Also, these scramjets are highly efficient so less fuel would be used .. meaning the price of gas will drop slightly .. again helping the poor.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  61. Bob

    Ah well, back to the drawing board.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  62. Barry G.

    If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

    I'm sure there were many who told Wilbur and Orville Wright: It will never fly.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • FarLeft

      I'm pretty-sure ol' Wilbur and Orville weren't planning on delivering a nuke with their vehicle. Who, exactly, do we think paid for this hypersonic failure?

      August 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
      • chia

        This thing isn't meant for nuclear weapons delivery. It's unnecessary; existing ICBMs can do it just as well.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  63. columbus

    "It's unclear what, if any, information was gleaned from the test. According to the statement"

    I'd say we learned we have to glue the tail fin on better. DUH!

    August 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  64. The Doug

    America's tax dollars hard at work: Figuring out faster ways to blow things up.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • NASA fan

      These tests are for airplanes not missles.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  65. Doña

    I love wasting money, guess we didn't waste enough on our trip to Mars. Ok now we can rape and pillage the seniors, WTG stupid government.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • Jorg Mieter

      Just like they wasted money going to the moon and other space programs? Funny how the very machine you made your internet post on is a product (microchips) of the space programs of the 60s....

      August 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
      • guest

        Kudos Jorge, I doubt she can appreciate the irony of the situation. We need to lead in math, science, and engineering for our country to be great again.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • anonymous

      finally!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply
    • Atsugi

      dear Dona; so you want to complain about military spending. well while you typed your idiotic statement on the, Military project, internet. Eating your, military project, microwave lunch. talking on your, military project, cell phone. or maybe you are going to work using your military project, gps, in your, military project, fuel injected car, that uses, military project airbags, to save your pathetic, cant see past the stuck up nose on your face, life. should learn to embrace these things and wonder what it would be like to fly at mach six to visit you grandchildren for the weekend, who live in another country, and would not have been cost effective without scram jet technology which could get you there in an hour.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • Diana R

      Dona: Rape and pillage the seniors? I am 62 years old, which I guess makes me a "senior", and I applaud the USAF experiments with hypersonic aircraft, including this failed Waverider. I don't feel raped or pillaged at all. Rather, I feel proud to be part of a country that, despite its' many problems, is still willing to explore.

      As to the people complaining that folks are starving while money is being spent on Waverider: ALL that Waverider money is being spent here on Earth, the great majority of it in the U.S., providing jobs for machinists, engineers, mathematicians, and the like, and those people buy homes and buy groceries and buy baby carriages and cars, and clothes, and so on, providing jobs to many more people.

      My heavens, Dona. Rape and pillage are horrible crimes against humanity. You should learn to avoid hyperbole.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  66. saba

    In the meantime I drove through dozens of potholes, busted concrete slabs and dangling traffic lights on my way to work today! YAAYYY!!!!!!!! BUT who cares about public infrastruture? As long we we're NUMBER ONE in fast jets and killer missles it's all that matters!!!!!!

    August 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • guest

      I guess you don't understand anything about separation of government; local, county, state, Federal. Your potholes and traffic lights...go write a letter to your city commission. That's no reason not to advance our knowledge in science and engineering.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
      • saba

        I would rather advance out science and engineering in the fields of medical research like curing cancer or how to build better cars..maybe even flying cars.. than to spend it on bombers and surveilance aircraft flying at Mach 6.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Diana R

      Saba: I think if you researched the subject you would see that far, far more money is being spent on medical research than on hypersonic aircraft research. In the last 30 years there have been dramatic advancements in cancer survival rates - and on methods of avoiding cancer completely. And private sector companies, including Ford, GM, and Chrysler, spend vast amounts every year on better cars. So those advancements are occurring, even while the U.S. is experimenting with new aviation technologies. There's plenty room, and plenty money, for all three types of research. With or without flying cars.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  67. disagreement

    On the good side, our engineers don't live in North Korea, so they won't be killed.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  68. Barry Davis

    Once again millions of $$$ wasted(along with earlier crash on launchpad).Isn't there better things to do with the money?

    August 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • Polopoint

      waaaaaa . . . . . !!!

      August 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • rad4d

      Pretty sure there isn't.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  69. PudninTane

    Let's bring back project Pluto!

    August 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  70. DAVID

    Only in America are you totally free to say a government project failed. Imagine what would happen to this story in Iran or China..."a great success for the country of China (or Iran) today..."

    August 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      Not only in America!

      August 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • Polopoint

      "only" in america? really? you should get out more.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • OsoMartinez

      No, America doesn’t have a monopoly in speech.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • OsoMartinez

      No, America doesn’t have a monopoly in speech. ds4$

      August 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • wally

      It's great we can do this in America, but to say "only in America" is pretty insulting to the more than 100 countries where you can also say things like that

      You think we are the only free country?

      When people say "only in America" it usually refers to things like having mass shootings after mass shootings and not being able to even have a civilized conversation about gun control

      August 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • saba

      Actually nothing would happen but you keep drinking that koolaid where you honestly think America is truly truly free and everyone else puts you to death for even looking at their government strange.
      The biggest myth ever perpetrated on the American public is the belief that America is the GREATEST and 'FREEST' country in the world and everyone else a very very distant 2nd and 3rd.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  71. Franky

    Ok, people science doesn't work like this, I spend $1 billion, therefore my expirement works as predicted the first time. That's why it's called a flight test. That's why North Korea has yet to successfullly create a nuclear blast or an ICBM. No one has created a vehicle that can fly at these speeds before had, and the likely hood of us doing it with out quite a few failures , is zero. So xhut the ... up about the cost. It's an experiment, it's a failure in that it didn't have any problems, it's not a failure in the sense that now we've learned something, now we know that perhaps the right fuel mixture needs to be XYZ because in the upper atmosphere is this way or that way, or maybe we need four tail fins because the stresses of moving at the speed cause XYZ, I mena what the k did you all fail basic science classes on how this stuff is done?

    August 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  72. tcaros

    Boeing is short for Boing Boing.. there it goes.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  73. gmenfan54

    I know why the X-51A crashed. Mitt Romney's tax returns were on board.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • One_percent_hopeful

      ...along with Obama's college transcripts, birth certificate, and social security number!

      August 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  74. Gwen

    All this money used on secret project. We pay for it but are not told what it's used for. The conspiracy of the secret space program has been proven true and now we wonder what else is being hidden.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • Franky

      Maybe hypersonic ballistic missles, maybe a plane that can get us into low earth orbit or break earths gravitational field at a fraction of the cost of launching land based rockets. Did we know when the DARPANet project started in 50's and 60's that it would one day lead to the internet??? I mean come on people think beyond your puny little minds, I know it's alot to ask, but technology isn't created as a finished product, technology is evolutionary much like life.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
      • Just a Reader

        My puny little mind can't get past all the money I pay in taxes and how nothing in this country is helping me get by like it is helping so many others. And then they spend money on things like this.

        August 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  75. snowdogg

    Wonder what the cost per second of flight worked out to?

    August 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • OsoMartinez

      Troll.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • Aaron

      The problem is so clear can see it with the back fin.... why did they not catch this in the wind tunnel??

      August 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  76. Me

    Silly humans, moving distance with speed is a lost cause, and a waste of money and resources..

    August 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • Patriarchae

      If it's such a waste then stop driving and stop flying. Go everywhere you need to go on bicycle, foot, or boat (it must be an unpowered sailboat since oceanliners and powerboats are wastes of money according to you).

      If traveling distances with speed still seems like a waste of money and time to you, you might be clinically stupid.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  77. John

    This is not a test for a civilian passenger prototype but for a long range hypersonic ballistic missile intended to make either first strike or retaliatory strike to points around the globe at record speeds and carrying limited yield nuclear warheads.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • steve

      OK Mr. knowledgeable...I guess you think they should start right in with a passenger jet filled with people. I have a little feeling these engineers might just be a little smarter than you and America might just be a little too awesome for trying to do the impossible....thank God for those that try and wussies like you aren't in control of science.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  78. philip miller

    Just another several hundred billion dollars or so for another high tech piece of junk that self destructs. What angers me is that this is OUR hard earned tax dollars, and while this country is falling apart economically, these characters are squandering it on stuff like this. Think of all the homeless people, people who can't afford their mortgages, lack of money for education, police, fire departments, much needed social services, and the list goes on and on and on. This total lack of accountability with our tax dollars is simply outrageous and unacceptable.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • Just a Reader

      I totally agree with you. I see the benefit of such things for such a war-loving country like ours, but in times such as these, the money would be better spent on the people who live here. Not one of the "helps" of Obama's has done one thing for MY family... we make too much money to get mortgage help, but we owe $250K more than the value of our home. We don't want to let it go into foreclosure... but the good news is, we have no equity. It is a crazy world.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
      • Peter

        Don't blame Obama. He didn't create the system, and the Republicans have consistently stood in his way to change anything, i.e., healthcare.

        August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
      • no

        A significant cause for the recession we're currently in is people buying homes they can't afford. So there's that.

        August 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • MattMan

      Isnt that the truth!!!!!!!

      August 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      Mostly because of our country's obsession with building up our military in the post-Soviet era, heralded by Ronald Reagan himself. This obsession is not only futile, but it is a huge distraction so Reaganites can rob of us everything we have. The military is something no politician can touch except to further boost it. As a concerned American, I demand isolation.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • yep

      Not that a totally disagree with you but I look at it like this. I rather them spending that kind of money in the US on scientists and engineers that contribute to our economy instead of sending it to some foreign country for them to use as they see fit, like lining the pockets of the corrupt.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  79. SometimesIWonder

    I wonder how many of the people commenting on this know/realize the reason they can do it is because of a DARPA (yes that Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) project looking at ways to protect the military's communications networks in the case of a nuclear attack that resulted in the invention of TCP/IP, the communications protocol the Internet is based on. Or how many know/realize that one of the main drivers and military funding behind developing ENIAC, the first large scale computer, was the need to break encryption protocols. Love it or hate it, military reasons have driven many inventions throughout the the history of humankind.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  80. al

    We all know who is at fault.......Bush of course......that's what we have taught by our dictator!!!!!!

    August 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • snowdogg

      al... give it a rest, mate.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • carmen gradin

      We never will know the truth, will we?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  81. GotAnIdea

    Got an idea....might want to create an 'aircraft' that flys like maybe Mach 5 and doesn't crash.....also, isn't this really a missle, not an aircraft? Not like anyone's flying in it.....

    August 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  82. brian willett

    STOP wasting OUR tax payer money on this BS.. I mean really– 16 secounds.. IM NOT paying for another one these BS test - so stop taxing me for this crap

    August 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • anonymous

      stop paying taxes?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Reply
      • Shmurphy

        Not an option. Taxes aren't paid, they are looted.

        August 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Tr1Xen

      With Obumo at the helm, we pay for a lot of garbage that we shouldn't.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
      • snowdogg

        Got nothing to say, really?

        August 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
      • JohnJohn

        Like... 2 UNFUNDED wars by Bush and a tax break for the rich right? Oh that's right, they blame Bush's failures on Obama now. I keep forgetting GOP sheeple only listen to one network for their news and consider the other few hundred sources "liberal".

        August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
      • asdf

        but never under any other president....right?

        August 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
      • anonymous

        Riiight. Because this was all his idea... Not like they started planning this aircraft until he was in office...

        August 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • asdf

      looks like you are going to pay for another one....unless you stop paying your taxes. 😛

      August 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  83. Franky

    And it's still the fastest manned aircraft to date and we designed that in the 60's. Somewhere along the way 50% of this nation got stuck on stupid, and they thought somehow America just miraculously got on top. No, it's because yes, people spent, much research, tinkered toyed, including the government who has always funded alot of our advancement. some ask why go to mars. Imagine if the government said why go west, why should I fund building railroads out there. I mean doesn't it bother some of you people that we as a nation were more innovative in the 60's than we want to be now. Do you know how many things came out of space travel? The internet, yes, that was a govenrment project too. I'm tired of living in a country where science has taken a back seat to bean counting. How do you think we became a top nation, it wasn't be eschewing science. dk

    August 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  84. bluedogboy

    I'm sure Obama will be blamed for this.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • CalDude

      yea, and he'll turn around and blame GWB.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
      • JohnJohn

        No, and No. Both of you get a life.

        August 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  85. YodaHart

    That's a fast nuke!

    August 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  86. booboot1947

    More tests must go on.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  87. Jiovanni

    A billion dollar wasted, just like that. I believe this people needs to get another hobby, one that don't not cost that much.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • Hugo

      Where did you get $1B from? If you click on the "launched by the Air Force Tuesday" link in the article you'll find that it's $140M. Yes, that's a lot of money but how about, in the future, you stick to facts you can cite (like I did) instead of making stuff up?

      August 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  88. HBar

    If I recall correctly(?), this isn't the first time something like this has happened on this project.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  89. Sunshine

    Makes me sick, with unemployment rate 8.3%, our government will allow military to play with such expensive toys.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
    • Ensign Bill

      Sunshine et Al – The reason that something like this should be done is because it will truly open the world to a single global economy. With transportation craft opened to the public, you could work in Hongkong and be home after a 3 hour commute to Los Angeles.

      The problem they are having is that they are still applying conventional design to the aircraft. In a craft as this, you should simply use a nose cone that can move in 180 degrees. To climb, the nose would deform up. Banking – deforms left and right etc. This would keep the bubble stability.

      Out of curiousity – haven't any of them ever watched an episode of Star Trek. This type of design was covered in at least 3 of the series.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
      • CalDude

        "you could work in Hongkong and be home after a 3 hour commute to Los Angeles."

        Don't hold your breath. We'll never live long enough to see it.... and it won't be for us commoners anyway.

        August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
      • i am a moron

        Wow Ensign Bill. Your degree in aerospace engineering and your expertise on aircraft stability and control should really be put to better use. Why weren't you working on this project?

        August 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • AllDebs

      While we all are struggling to make ends meet, how much was this experiment????

      August 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
      • notsmart

        It probably cost enough to allow the humans working on it to make ends meet. You think because the government spends money it just disappears? It goes right back to the citizens. Think before you utilize your keyboard please.

        August 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Dan

      Without those expensive toys our unemployment would go up to 12%...

      August 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Hugo

      They aren't playing. It's called research. Do you remember the so-called "quagmire" during the 2nd Iraq war?

      Whether you agree with invading Iraq or not (and I'm in the "not" category), one thing is clear. The U.S. military wasn't in a quagmire. Instead what happened is the U.S. military won a decisive battle because they could see and the Iraqi army couldn't. This was made possible by research.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • DoYourHomework

      You're an idiot and clearly don't understand the mission of the warfighter. Until you have insightful, relevant information to portray, don't make ignorant judgements.

      Your lack of understanding and willingness to make it public is what should be making you sick.

      Go read.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  90. Rae Ann Pointer

    This reminds me of the first Mars Rover. Billions of dollars to get it there and then it got stuck on a rock.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  91. Andrew

    Time for some military cuts. Get the f@#% off our social programs, Pentagon. Close some of your over 1k f@#%ing bases around the globe.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
    • Hugo

      Andrew, why are you *****ing at the Pentagon? They don't decide. Congress decides. The people at the Pentagon, well, follow orders!

      August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • Herky515

      Right On, man. Let me grab my bongo drum and we can go occupy something to make the government pay for our "medical' marijuana instead stoopid stuff like ths. Power to the people... don't trust anyone with less than 30 facebook friends...

      August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  92. Jim

    Well, back to the old drawing board.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  93. Mike

    Thats why its called "a test" folks. Those of you screaming about jobs etc might want to consider that these industries provide thousands of jobs...and once the tests are successful and a new airplane is produced...then that produces thousands more jobs. Nothing new comes easy or without sacrifice....dollars expended for no real return is dead/wasted money..(many social programs) these dollars being expended to in fact provide a return in the forms stated previously.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • A

      Slow down there that's too much truth for these people to handle. Why have government funds pay civilians to engineer and create these projects? Why pay our volunteer military members to operate them when the government could just bankrupt itself giving all of our unemployed more free money? Clearly if we cut this program that will magically create more jobs due the government spending slightly less money than before. I want free stuff just like the rest of us.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Andy B.

      You can pay someone to move a pile of rocks back and forth from point A to point B and say that it creates jobs, but what good does it do? These military programs may provide thousands of jobs, but military expenditures cost hundreds of billions of dollars over time. In that sense, they are much worse for the economy because each resulting job costs many more times over than paying a person to move rocks among piles.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  94. Ron WPAFB

    Chinese Servos !

    August 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      lmao! Probably bought them at hobbyking.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  95. rondal

    This is what happens when you violated God's laws

    August 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • anonymous

      ???

      August 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • Anom

      Trololololol

      August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • shanghaiman8915

      666 your god

      August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • columbus

      What laws are you talking about? Thou shalt not fly?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      God has laws regarding scramjets?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • Marko

      ...and God said 'Let there be scramjets' lol

      August 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • Hugo

      And that law would be? Which God BTW?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • JohnJohn

      The Lord sayeth unto them, "Thou shalt not scram lest I maketh thine servo go the way of Gemmorah" And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and ..

      August 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  96. Stretch

    Listen to me closely (watch the dangling watch) ... you didn't hear anything. This never happened.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  97. AlexT

    Should have gotten Mohawk Guy to help out!

    August 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • Gregg

      This is the funniest post of all who posted!!! Way to go AlexT.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • Goobers

      NASA could have dropped the thing billions of miles away from a skyhook attached to a hovering rocket frame at it would have worked.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  98. gmenfan54

    Attention Air Force: The next time you test a X-51A Waverider make sure Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are aboard.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • wally

      oh ha ha. Really funny. Now all the other clever ones are going to come out and start with the Obama bashing.

      Sigh.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • RKT210

      Worried that your government checks might stop and you might have to work for a living?

      August 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
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