The Pentagon Is Great at Blowing Your Money

While the rest of America watches the economy go down the shitter all over again, the Pentagon is busy blowing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on toys that don't work. Perhaps you've heard about the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 and its alleged Prompt Global Strike™ capabilities? It failed for a second time during a test flight yesterday off the coast of California.

In layman's terms, it's a $320 million program designed to let some zit-faced kid with a joystick and a bag of Doritos at Vandenberg Air Force Base rain (non-nuclear) death on unsuspecting bad guys anywhere in the world in under an hour. Killing people on a computer screen is fun and easy, and doesn't come with all of the baggage of killing someone face to face. Cool new technology combined with good intel means collateral damage is so 2009.

So, what happened this time to the big bad rocket of death? As Danger Room's Noah Shachtman put it yesterday:

"The HTV-2 was supposed to ride on the back of a rocket to the edge of space, where it would separate and scream through the atmosphere at 13,000 mph before splashing into the Pacific Ocean, about 4,100 miles and 30 minutes later."

Instead, it just vanished minutes after launch! The program's manager, Air Force Major General Chris Schulz said in a statement yesterday that it will work (maybe):

"We know how to boost the aircraft to near space. We know how to insert the aircraft into atmospheric hypersonic flight. We do not yet know how to achieve the desired control during the aerodynamic phase of flight. It's vexing; I'm confident there is a solution. We have to find it."

How reassuring.