The Pentagon is about to test an unmanned aircraft that can travel faster than the speed of sound, up to 13,000 miles per hour, and send a missile to a target within an hour.

To bring it to perspective, the aircraft is fast enough to travel from coast to coast (between Los Angeles and New York) in just 12 minutes.

The Defense Research Projects Agency says it will carry out the 30-minute test of the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 Thursday morning from Vandenberg Air Force in California. A Minotaur IV Lite rocket will lift off with the HTV-2 and release the aircraft after penetrating the atmosphere.

HTV-2 is the craft's second test flight after a first failed in April 2010, crashing into the ocean just nine minutes after takeoff. The aircraft was never recovered.

DARPA does not plan on building another HTV if Thursday's attempt fails.