Narrator: This is Science Today. Imagine flying
anywhere on the planet from the continental U.S. in
just two hours or less? Although this concept is still
a dream for many international travelers, such an
aircraft has already been designed by aerospace engineers
at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Preston
Carter is the mastermind behind HyperSoar - and says
this futuristic, hypersonic aircraft can fly ten times
the speed of sound.
Carter: But it does it in an unusual way. It
takes off like a regular airplane, accelerates up
to ten times the speed of sound and at a hundred and
fifteen thousand feet in altitude, it shuts off its
engines. It will coast out of the atmosphere and then
it starts skipping on the atmosphere.
Narrator: Carter likens this to a rock skipping
across water - the only difference is, unlike a rock,
HyperSoar's skipping motion will not damp out. To
a person aboard, the sensation would be like being
on a swing - only much slower. A prototype will be
built within the next five years, but Carter says
it'll be a while before passengers board HyperSoar.
Carter: I certainly hope that it will happen
in my lifetime and it certainly will happen in my
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.