Initiated in 2003, X-41 is the designation for a still-classifiedU.S.militaryspaceplane. Specifications or photos of the program have not been released to the public yet; as a result not much is known about its goals. It has been described as an experimental manoeuvring re-entry vehicle capable of transporting a 1,000 lb payload on a sub-orbital trajectory at hypersonic speeds and releasing that payload into the atmosphere. The technology required for the X-41 is not yet known and is still undecided by the government. It is believed a new type of hypersonic travel is also being studied for the X-41 that will apparently be able to travel past Mach 7 and perhaps onto Mach 9.
This vehicle is now a part of the FALCON (Force Application and Launch from Continental United States) program sponsored by DARPA and NASA.