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A rocket carrying an experimental unmanned hypersonic glider has been launched from an air base on the central California coast.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency used Twitter to announce the launch Thursday morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The rocket is carrying the agency’s experimental Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2, which is supposed to separate from the booster at the edge of space and maneuver through the atmosphere at 13,000 mph before diving into the ocean.

A similar vehicle was launched last year and returned nine minutes of data before contact was prematurely lost.

The U.S. military is trying to develop technology to respond to threats around the globe at speeds of Mach 20 or greater.

Source: The Associated Press

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