The above pictured aircraft is an experimental aircraft from the air force called the DARPA Falcon HTV-2. This ship or plane or whatever you want to call it is unmanned and can travel at about twenty times the speed of sound. This plane will take off from an Air Force Base in California today for its second test flight. According to the Fox News report, the goal of this experimental craft "...is to eventually enable the U.S. military to strike anywhere in the world in less than an hour."
This craft/plane takes off much like a rocket an reaches the top heights of the atmosphere and renters at breakneck speeds. NASA is definitely not the only place the government spent money on experimental aircraft. While the rest of the world (and some of us hopefuls) watch for the privatization of space travel I will keep my eye on the Air Force and expect many great advances in travel on Earth and beyond.
Read more about the Falcon HTV-2 on the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA_Falcon_Project
Read more about today's flight at: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/08/09/aircraft-set-to-shatter-speed-sound/#ixzz1UbT3NcHT
Find more stories on the Falcon HTV-2 here: http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&btnmeta_news_search=1&q=Falcon+HTV-2