A military test related to the development of hypersonic weapons failed Thursday at the Kodiak Spaceport Complex, according to the Department of Defense.
It is unclear if the failure caused any damage to the launch complex. Alaska Aerospace, the operator of the launch complex did not respond to a request for comment. A Kodiak Island resident posted a video purportedly showing the rocket streaking into the sky at about 2 a.m. Thursday.
The complex is about 20 miles from the City of Kodiak. It has served as a testing and launching center for the public and private sector for over 20 years.
In a written statement, Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Tim Gorman of the United States Navy said the test was a data collection experiment related to the development of a hypersonic weapon. Military analysts say prototypes are designed to hit targets thousands of miles away at up to five times the speed of sound – Gorman said the test on Kodiak failed due to an issue with the booster rocket system.
This test comes less than a week after China reportedly conducted a successful test of their own hypersonic weapons system, which could deliver a nuclear payload with greater maneuverability than an intercontinental ballistic missile.
An aborted military test related to the development of a hypersonic weapon at the Kodiak Spaceport Complex in 2014 caused significant damage to the launch facility.