The most recent vehicle, a DARPA sponsored Rube Goldberg-device to attempt and satisfy the prompt global strike challenge, lost telemetry after it separated from the
ICBM Minotaur IV that boosted it properly. Hey, here’s an idea: why not a conventional ICBM?! You know, something that already works?
More on the HTV failure from NASA Spaceflight.com:
Despite a successful launch, HTV-2a was a failure; contact with the spacecraft was lost nine minutes after launch. An investigation determined that an onboard flight safety system had steered the vehicle into the Pacific Ocean after it had begun to roll erratically. Despite the failure, 139 seconds of data was collected on hypersonic flight at speeds in excess of Mach 17.
I think nine minutes after launch is right where the first HTV failed as well. Keep looking through the data, folks; I’m sure there’s a pony in there somewhere.
It might be pointed out that the NRO and the Corona program also had plenty of problems at start up as well. However, Corona was to satisfy an urgent national security need that couldn’t be otherwise addressed.