Remember this little Pentagon experiment that was slated to fly 20 times the speed of sound? Well, it plunged into the Pacific yesterday. From LATimes:
It was the second and last scheduled flight for the Falcon program, which began in 2003 and cost taxpayers about $320 million. Both flights failed to go the distance.
The failure of the Falcon’s test flights doesn’t bode well for the Pentagon and the Obama administration, which were hoping to harness the hypersonic technology for use with 21st century ballistic missiles.
The plan is known as Prompt Global Strike, which the government hopes to field by 2015.
The administration requested $204.8 million for the effort in the upcoming budget year, and the Falcon is just one of an array of technologies in the works to accomplish the concept. But like the Falcon, none of the other projects has achieved much success. […]
"All of this money is being spent to kill someone very quickly,"[said Brian Weeden, a former Air Force officer and expert in space security]. “All that seems to have come out of it is that the technology is costly and difficult to achieve.”