On Sunday, 4/25/10, I published an article entitled: ‘Falcon HTV-2 Launch – How Secret is It?’ which detailed the trail of information that I had followed in order to reach a conclusion about the success or failure of the 4/22/10 launch of the HTV-2 craft.
After following numerous leads, I found a source that had been used by wikipedia.org when it had determined that the rocket launching itself had been successful, but that the test of the HTV-2 craft had apparently failed.
DARPA press released discussed by Fox News
On the following day (4/26/10), Foxnews.com published an article entitled: ‘Military’s Hypersonic Falcon Missile Test a Dud?’ This article confirmed what I had discovered and reported on the previous day.
Information from a DARPA press release from Friday night (4/23/10) was included in the Fox News article, which said that while the launch vehicle had executed first-of-its-kind maneuvers, approximately 9 minutes into the mission there was a loss of signal from the HTV-2, and that an engineering team is reviewing data to understand this event.
This article also stated that the DARPA press release did not specify whether any of the test maneuvers were completed by the Lockheed Martin built craft before controllers lost communications with the craft.
Prava forum thread
An interesting take on this launch showed up on a forum thread from Pravda, Russia. The first item on the thread reported that: ‘”Mighty secret” X-37-b was a dud.” The writer apparently confused the successful launch of the X-37B robotic space plane, which is now in orbit, with the HTV-2 craft which appears to have failed in its mission.
Comments on this forum thread from Pravda provide an interesting look at how those making the comments view not only this topic but also the military efforts put forth by the United States.
It is unclear why DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) did not provide a more complete press release following the launch of the HTV-2 craft. Much speculation would have been avoided If they had done so, and it would have saved reporters from having to spend time trying to piece together the results of this mission.
At any rate, the topic seems to have been put to rest, at least until the next possible launch in 2011.
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Of special interest:
Falcon HTV-2 Launch – How Secret is It?
X-37B Launched with Mystery Mission.