Go for launch
The successful test was an experimental milestone on the way to a horizontal flight test of an Australian-built "scramjet" engine in 2018. Hypersonic jet engines could one day propel passenger aircraft around the world in only a few hours, or they could be used as resuable launch vehicles to carry satellites into orbit. [Read full story about the hypersonic HIFiRE project]
A rocket launch planned for November 2017 will carry the Australian scramjet engine to high altitudes for its first vertical hypersonic test flight.
The scramjet engine is designed and built by scientists and engineers at the University of Queensland. The first horizontal test flight using the new engine, dubbed HIFiRE 8, is planned for 2018.
At the controls
In the Outback
This image shows a high frequency antenna array near Woomera, used for telemetry communications with rockets in flight.
The Australian scramjet is built entirely from lightweight carbon composites that can withstand temperatures of up to about 2,900 degrees Fahrenheit (1,600 degrees Celsius).