Boeing's X-51A WaveRider Scramjet has had its share of bad luck. While its first test flight in 2010 went fine, the two that followed ended with unsatisfactory plops. Now, the USAF has just completed the fourth and final test, and the result was a screaming 370 seconds of scramjet glory and literally hypersonic speeds.
With the Space Shuttle program winding down, NASA and several commercial ventures are developing technology that will hurl the next iteration of space vehicles into the sky. But NASA acknowledges that rockets aren't the only–or the best–way to get into space.