An Anonymous Coward writes: "The Sacramento Bee is running this story about the first powered device to achieve "hypersonic" speeds in the Earth's atmosphere. In a series of DARPA-sponsored tests, at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee, a scramjet engine, encased in a titanium projectile, was fired from a 130-foot cannon, at an initial velocity of Mach 7.1. The scramjet's engines then ignited, and the object moved another 260 feet, in just 30 milliseconds, before it came to rest in a series of steel plates designed to halt the flight. Peak acceleration: about 10,000 G's. Elapsed time, including cigarettes & pillowtalk: less than a second. PS: According to this nifty page at NASA, Mach 7.1 is about 5406 MPH, whereas 260 ft, per 0.03 seconds, is about 5909 MPH."
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