Hyflex mission profile. Graphic via JAXA.

Peter Brown, a regular JSW contributor, has a new article in his blog Japanese in Space. The article recalls HYFLEX, a JAXA program from the mid-90s that demonstrated unmanned, reusable spaceplane technology.

The first and only flight of Japan’s Hypersonic Flight Experiment (HYFLEX) happened in February 1996. Some readers might wonder why I elect to engage in this exercise, injecting HYFLEX into the broader coverage of the HTV-2 testflight. It is, they might argue, kind of like comparing apples to oranges. 

I disagree because each of these experimental hypersonic flights -albeit happening many years apart – involved hypersonic performance on a sub-orbital trajectory. 

Read the rest at Japanese in Space.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch