A Six-Minute Flight

A hypersonic vehicle, launched aboard a Navy rocket, flew for six minutes at Mach 5 and an altitude of 95,000 feet. The Re-Entry Structures Experiment then descended in two pieces, which landed 21 miles north of the launch point at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., according to a Sept. 28 release from Kirtland AFB, N.M. Air Force Research Lab’s Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland designed and developed the RESE hypersonic vehicle, which carried five experimental payloads. “I was amazed by the performance and durability of the five experiments considering the intense pressure and force applied to the RESE’s two sections during hypersonic flight,” said Andy Williams, RESE program manager. He expects the next flight, sometime next year, to reach speeds between Mach 10 and 12.