The race is underway. China’s interest in high-speed conventional weapons has revitalized the US R&D in hypersonic technology. Current developments are focused on two types of systems: Boost-glide maneuvering vehicles and airbreathing scramjets.
“Hypersonic weapons overfly our air defense systems and underfly our missile defense systems.” – Mike Griffin, Under Secretary of Defense for R&E. “Our key here is we want to deliver hypersonics at scale; we want to go beyond the prototypes.” – Mark Lewis, Director of Defense R&E.
Why is this important? This was the first time SpaceX recovered a booster following a National Security Space Launch mission.