Weather delays Pentagon test of fastest-ever plane

Artist's rendition of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2
Associated Press

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.--Launch of an unmanned experimental hypersonic glider from the central California coast has been postponed.

Vandenberg Air Force Base says Wednesday's planned launch of a Minotaur 4 rocket carrying the glider was scrubbed due to poor weather conditions downrange and has been rescheduled for Thursday.

The rocket will loft the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 high above the Earth. The unmanned aircraft is designed to re-enter the atmosphere and maneuver at Mach 20 - or about 13,000 mph--before diving into the ocean.

The program is intended to increase the technical knowledge necessary for long-duration hypersonic flight.

Another HTV-2 was flown last year, returning nine minutes of data before contact was lost.