Trials of the US military solar HALO missile have surpassed expectations but left puzzling questions for defence chiefs. The missile which was launched last month is still air borne and despite many attempts to bring the flight to and end, arms manufacturer TT Systems cannot stop its perpetual mission.
The solar powered weapon should run out of juice when it runs into the dark side of earth and fall harmlessly to the ground. However, the sophistication of the rechargeable battery means that it bursts back into life every it meets sunlight. What troubles TT Systems and the US government is that it was programmed to maintain altitude at 1000 metres but during its period of dark flight when the battery is low, it can fall dangerously to ground zero.
Although incidents have been low, the missile did fall low enough at one point, passing through Turkish air space and shred one lady's washing in her back garden. Another event involved a high powered motorcycle run from the missile as it skimmed Pakistan's only motorway with the cyclist ducking just at the right moment.
Obviously the US government want HALO back and are devising a system of dropping a blanket over it to block out it's solar cells. Problem is that it drops out of radar every time it travels at night.