Air Force Launches X-37, Falcon HTV
By William Tucker
On April 22 the U.S. Air Force launched an unmanned spacecraft known as the X-37 which was widely covered in the press. The Associated Press, however, also reported that the Air Force launched an unmanned glider on the same day. The glider is really the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 – a vehicle that will allow the U.S. to hit a time sensitive target in under an hour without using an ICBM or nuclear technology. Both technologies, once made fully operational, will allow the U.S. to have immediate visual surveillance of a trouble area within minutes of a crisis and have the ability to strike if needed. While there are some legitimate concerns about nuclear armed nations mistaking these vehicles for a preemptive nuclear strike it is likely that most of these issues will be addressed prior to operational deployment. In the meantime the search to shave critical minutes off a global response will continue.
Photo credit: DARPA (Falcon HTV)
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