Every once in a while real-life science runs a little too parallel with science fiction in the movies and television. There will be something released in the news that makes you shudder. Today is one of those days.
According to The Associated Press, the U.S. military Thursday launched an experimental unmanned hypersonic glider from 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles. First the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 (its proper name) was carried to the edge of space. After separating from the rocket, the glider reached up to 13,000 miles per hour before it was to plunge into the ocean. The military is using the glider to help develop technology that will make it possible for us to respond to threats throughout the world at a speed of Mach 20 or more.
Strangely, the triangular-looking glider resembles an arrowhead. It looks eerily similar to the Icarus spacecraft from the original “Planet of the Apes” movies and television show. Could this be our first move toward interstellar space travel? Have we taken our first step toward traveling at the speed of light?
To make matters even creepier, we launched one of these things before. A similar vehicle was fired off last year. It returned 9 minutes of data before contact was lost. Did it break the time barrier like the DeLorean in “Back to the Future?” Did it possibly return to our time with intelligent apes in tow? We will probably never know until it is too late.
There is no doubt scientists could take this military technology and use it for space exploration. It might take a while to figure it all out. The way technology moves forward now, it probably would not take long. Maybe that is why they shut down the space shuttle program. Are they going to start testing this glider in space next?
I find it very strange that the government finds it important to tweet about this Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2, which resembles the Icarus spacecraft from “Planet of the Apes,” so soon after the release of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” Are they trying to tell us something subliminally?
Honestly, probably not. It’s just fun (and sometimes scary) to see things that were designed and thought to be so far beyond our reach come into existence in real life. It just goes to show that the scientists of today were obviously the geeky sci-fi movie kids of the past.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Free ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ Prequel Comic Released
Interview with “Planet Of the Apes” Comic Book Writer Daryl Gregory
‘Rise’ is Not Your Parents’ ‘Planet of the Apes’
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