World's fastest rocket to auction in London

The world's fastest rocket system has been announced as the unusual highlight of RM Auctions' London sale on September 8.

Kholod rocket auction
The Kholod rocket made its way to Kazakhstan following NASA's tests, before being consigned from the Czech Republic

The Kholod hypersonic rocket system, produced by a joint venture between NASA and CIAM (Russian Institute for New Propellants), became the fastest machine to run in Earth's atmosphere when it attained MACH 6.47, or 4,310 mph.

Just nine Kholod rockets were made during the $95m project, which ran from 1991 to 1998. Five were destroyed during testing, while four successfully returned to Earth.

One of those is now housed in a private collection in the Middle East, while the others were in Kazakhstan for further testing until recently. This example came via the Czech Republic.

"We have sold some unusual and interesting vehicles in our time, but a hypersonic rocket just about tops the list of the most remarkable objects we've ever presented," commented RM Europe's managing director Max Girado.

"In all seriousness, the HLF Kholod is a truly significant piece of history, and its sale presents an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for serious collectors of aerospace memorabilia."

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some superb space and aviation memorabilia for sale.

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