It's Do or Die Time For The Mach 20 Missile

DARPA has a plan called Prompt Global Strike that'll knock out any terrorist target within an hour using a remote aircraft. Sounds great, except the first trial of this advanced weapon failed miserably. The defense agency now has one more try to get it right or the project will be canceled.

The idea behind the project is to develop an early strike weapons system that'll hit any location on the earth within an hour. DARPA had the idea of using a triangular-shaped aircraft, known as the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2, that will strike a target with pinpoint accuracy. It'll replace a conventional ICBM missile attack which could be mistaken for a nuclear strike, a misunderstanding that could lead to World War III. The first trial of this aircraft crashed after nine minutes when it spiraled out of control and was never found.

DARPA has identified the design flaw and is attempting another trial Wednesday morning at 7 AM PDT. If the aircraft can complete its 30 minute flight, the project will continue. If it fails, then it's game over and the project will be shelved indefinitely. Nothing like a little pressure to get those defense juices flowing. [DARPA via Wired]