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Falcon

Program Managers: Dr. Steven Walker & Lt Col Jeffrey Sherk, USAF

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Overview

The Falcon program objectives are to develop and demonstrate hypersonic technologies that will enable prompt global reach missions.  This capability is envisioned to entail a reusable Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle (HCV) capable of delivering 12,000 pounds of payload at a distance of 9,000 nautical miles from CONUS in less than two hours.  The technologies required by a HCV include high lift-to-drag technologies, high temperature materials, thermal protection systems, and guidance, navigation, and control.  Leveraging technology developed under the Hypersonic Flight (HyFly) program, Falcon will address the implications of hypersonic flight and reusability using a series of hypersonic technology vehicles (HTVs) to incrementally demonstrate these required technologies in flight.  The HTV-2 program will demonstrate enabling hypersonic technologies for future operational systems through rocket-boosted hypersonic flights with sufficient cross-range and downrange performance to evaluate thermal protection systems, aerodynamic shapes, maneuverability, and long-range communication for hypersonic cruise and re-entry vehicle applications.  The HTV-3X program will demonstrate key Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle technologies in a realistic flight environment by developing a re-usable hypersonic aircraft test bed capable of takeoff from runway under turbojet power, acceleration to Mach 6 speed under combined turbojet and scramjet propulsion, controlled deceleration, and runway landings.  In order to implement this flight test program in an affordable manner, Falcon will develop a low-cost, responsive Small Launch Vehicle (SLV).  The SLV will be capable of launching small satellites into low earth and sun-synchronous orbits and will provide the nation a new, small payload access to space capability.  Thus, the Falcon program addresses many high priority mission areas and applications such as global presence and space lift. 

 

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Last Updated: 02/18/08

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