Scientists have inched one step closer to making hypersonic commercial jets that fly at speed of over five time the speed of sound a reality.
A team from NASA and the Australian department of defense conducted a successful test launch at the Woomera Test range in Australia. THe experimental vehicle HIFiRE 5B reached a speed of Mach 7.5 (9,261km/h) at an altitude of 278 kilometres above the earth.
The experimental vehicle was launched using rockets from the Woomera test Range before its Scramjet engine kicked in and sent it screaming to its maximum altitude at hypersonic speeds.
Speaking about the successful test of the rocket, Dr Zelinsky, chief defence scientist at the Australian Department of Defence said, "The success of this test launch takes us one step closer to the realization of hypersonic flight. It is a game-changing technology identified in the 2016 Defence White Paper and could revolutionise global air travel, providing cost-effective access to space."