Sandia National Laboratories designed, produced and test-launched three rockets within the span of a year to support hypersonic technology development for the Department of Defense.
Three sounding rockets flew consecutively on Wednesday to support projects including the U.S. Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon and the U.S. Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike programs, Sandia said Friday.
The rockets briefly observed speeds of Mach 5 and beyond in a 260-mile ascent and the corresponding reentry.
“Our purpose is to generate a rapid testbed tempo at a reduced cost to the taxpayer for future hypersonic weapons systems development and upgrades,” said Ben English, program manager for Sandia.
Sandia intends to perform another hypersonic launch in 2022 with an increased duration of hypersonic flight.
Honeywell International owns the company that operates Sandia National Laboratories for the Department of Energy. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory also supported the test.