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Friday, 12 August 2011

image for Missing HTV-2 'spotted on Moon's scramjet graveyard' - reports
Space craft mausoleum: remains easily spotted using just an ordinary telescope

California - Remains of the Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle - the HTV-2 - have been spotted close to the Nectaris lunar impact crater.

Dubbed by Brits as the 'Robin Reliant of future space travel' the US $300m hypersonic flop joins other Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency prototypes in their karmic last resting place.

Launched on Thursday from the Vanderberg Air Force Base on a Minotaur IV rocket the Mach 22 craft's burnt out fuselage was filmed crash landing by the Hubble Telescope - 'like a harakiri homing pigeon joining its siblings'.

NASA technicians said today the annual Perseid meteor shower may also have been in the frame as teething problems with the on-board SatNav system malfunctioned causing the experimental plane to revert to Plan B.

Remote controls at Pasadena's Jet Convulsion Laboratory HQ had recorded a build-up of space-borne particles as DARPA's pride-of-the-fleet smashed onto the lunar surface.

The impact footprint should be visible on this weekend's full moon using any regular magnification telescope.

"It's turned that part of the Moon into the solar system's most expensive space craft mausoleum," Buzz Aldrin's chiropodist commented today.

"One small instep for mankind, eh?"

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