Will the U.S. Lead the Way in Hypersonic Flight?

Budgetary issues have plagued technological advancement, but that could be about to change.

Most people know the term hypersonic, but few can probably define it. Hypersonic flight occurs when an object travels at speeds in excess of five times the speed of sound, or about 3,800 mph in dry air at sea level. At last month’s Forum on American Aeronautics held at the Mojave Air and Space Port, a number of speakers focused on how to create enough continual interest in the United States for NASA researchers to begin looking at the steps to create the next generation of experimental flying vehicles, some of which will operate hypersonically.