Setback for US Hypersonic Missile Program as Test Weapon Explodes

Due to a malfunction during the launch of an experimental weapon in Alaska, the missile was blown up only four seconds after launch. The mishap could be a major setback for the hypersonic weapon program that the military is developing.

When controllers detected a problem within the system after take-off they immediately decided to abort the experiment in order to insure the safety of the public, according to Maureen Schumann, a spokeswoman for the US Defense Department.

“We had to terminate,” Schumann said. “The weapon exploded during takeoff and fell back down in the range complex.”

The launch took place a little after 4am on Monday morning at the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska.

The failure of the trial will put the US behind in the race to develop a weapon that can destroy a target anywhere on earth within one hour of its launch. The military sees this weapon as a counter-weapon to ballistic missiles which are now being developed in Iran, North Korea, and even China. China tested its own hypersonic weapon in January with more success.