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U.S. military loses second hypersonic aircraft

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. military Thursday lost its second Falcon HTV-2 hypersonic aircraft in just over a year -- a total loss of $308 million, officials said.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said it lost contact with the Falcon, an unmanned aircraft capable of flying 20 times the speed of sound, shortly after it was released from its rocket launcher, USA Today reported.

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The craft was supposed to fly over the Pacific Ocean for half an hour before returning to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

In April 2010, the previous test of a Falcon, the government lost track of the vehicle after 9 minutes of flight.

DARPA provided no further details, the newspaper said.

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