Rocket Lab has won a new contract with from the Pentagon’s military hypersonic test program to launch a suborbital test vehicle in 2025 using its suborbital version of its Electron rocket, dubbed HASTE.
The hypersonic test vehicle set to fly is called DART AE. It’s a 9.8-foot-long (3 meters), 660-pound (300 kilograms) scramjet-powered technology demonstrator that can reach speeds of up to Mach 7 (seven times the speed of sound; 5,320 mph, or 8,350 kph), according to the Hypersonix website. The mission will demonstrate HASTE’s ‘direct inject’ capability by deploying the Hypersonix payload during ascent, while still within Earth’s atmosphere, according to a Rocket Lab statement.
Rocket Lab has previously announced it has already has contracts to two HASTE launches in 2024, so this new contract is in addition to those. The deal also suggests that the company’s fast adaption of Electron for these suborbital test flights has grabbed this market from Stratolaunch, which had hoped the military would purchase its giant airplane Roc and its own test vehicles for such hypersonic testing.
On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.
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"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News