The U.S. Army is in the process of developing something it calls the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon to strike targets anywhere on Earth within hours while reaching speeds of at least Mach 5 — that’s 3,600 mph or greater. But the latest test just ran into a major snag: For reasons yet to be determined, the weapon and the rockets propelling it exploded about four seconds after lifting off early Monday from a missile range in Alaska, Pentagon officials say. The missile and its three-stage rocket booster system fell back on the Kodiak Launch Complex, a commercial facility on Kodiak Island, about 300 miles southwest of Anchorage. “Fortunately, no one was injured,” said Maureen Schumann, a spokeswoman at the Pentagon. The Pentagon said in a news release that the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command and Army Forces Strategic Command launched the test flight shortly after 4 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The test “was terminated near the launch pad shortly after lift-off to ensure public safety,” the Defense Department said. An extensive investigation will be conducted, defense officials said. via The Washington Post.
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