Minotaur IV Lite Boosts Hypersonic Vehicle

After a two-day weather delay, an Air Force-industry team at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., launched April 22 at 4 p.m. the first Minotaur IV Lite expendable booster. The suborbital rocket, built by Orbital Sciences Corp., successfully launched its HTV-2 payload, according to a Vandenberg release. The HTV-2, DARPA’s hypersonic test vehicle-2, was to glide over the Pacific Ocean at about 13,000 mph for approximately 30 minutes and crash land near the Kwajalein Atoll. As of Friday afternoon, there was no word on the result of the hypersonic glide vehicle test. (Also see Vandenberg release; Santa Maria Times report; Associated Press report)