Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - How Your World Works -

Ready: now or soon One of the most chal­leng­ing parts of an ICBM flight is re-en­try into Earth’s at­mos­phere. It’s hard to keep a war­head on target while it’s mov­ing at hy­per­sonic speeds, when fric­tion with the air forms a shroud of su­per­heated plasma around the ve­hi­cle. “The chal­lenge is en­sur­ing that what­ever ma­te­rial burns away from the heat shield does so in a uni­form and sym­met­ric man­ner,” Schilling says. “Test footage [from 2016] showed Kim Jong-un ex­am­in­ing the re-en­try ve­hi­cle that seemed to show uni­form ab­la­tion at the con­clu­sion of the test.”

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