Photo: wikipedia commons
There are a few interesting things you should know about yesterday’s successful test of the military’s new Advanced Hypersonic Weapon system.The missile system flies at eight times the speed of sound and effectively brings the US a step closer to reaching its goal of being able to blow up anything on the planet within one hour.
Noah Shachtman at Danger Room reports, the reason you likely heard nothing about Thursdays big test is because the first test was live-tweeted and widely publicized. It also failed spectacularly, sending chunks of highly advanced aeronautical debris into the Pacific back in August.
The difference between this most recent test and the one in August is two-fold: Yesterday the Air Force and Darpa used traditional missile design to strike a target 2,400 miles away, rather than the wedge shape design shown in the picture to strike 4,100 miles away.
And even flying at Mach 8 (6,089 mph), it was drastically slower than the Mach 20 (15,224 mph) reached back in August.
All of this is an effort to do something that could have been done with retrofitted Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, but because global leaders can’t tell if the weapons are incoming nukes, the concerns over starting nuclear war were too great, and the military was forced to undertake an entirely new project.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.