Yes, you are about to have your hypersonic space jet capable of going Mach 6 (that's six times the speed of sound). But first you'll want to check out this kickass hypersonic wind tunnel at Purdue University where the space jets of tomorrow are being tested. It's actually hard to find a hypersonic wind tunnel that doesn't blast your eardrums out.

That's why this sucker is totally encased in layers of metal. Scientists at Purdue are experimenting on what they call the X-51A test vehicle, which could become the bedrock tech for ultra-fast missiles or mega-speedy planes. One of the big issues in the research is trying to create a plane body shape that won't get so hot from wind friction that it melts down:

The researchers used a temperature-sensitive paint to measure how hot the skin of the model gets during testing. The paint was coated on a nylon strip inserted into the model. Shining a blue light onto the strip during testing generates a temperature-dependent red light from the paint. The intensity of the red light shows how hot the surface is.


Awesome. When I'm not fantasizing about going Mach 6, I am imagining all the other things I want them to stick in the hypersonic wind tunnel.

Purdue Wind Tunnel Key for Hypersonics [Eurekalert]
Mach 5 Missile, On Track [Danger Room]