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Space & Astronomy

NASA's 'flying saucer' tested successfully

By T.K. Randall
June 29, 2014 · Comment icon 10 comments



Artist's impression of the LDSD. Image Credit: NASA
An experimental saucer-shaped vehicle designed to be used on Mars has undergone a successful test flight.
Intended as a mechanism for slowing down spacecraft landing on Mars, NASA's Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) was lifted high in to the Earth's atmosphere on Saturday using a balloon that took it to 120,000ft before releasing it.

The vehicle employs a special inflatable Kevlar ring and a new type of parachute designed to slow down payloads of up to 10 tonnes during future missions to the Red Planet.
This test rig, which is limited to only one-and-a-half tonnes, was considered an overall success because the inflatable 'doughnut' deployed correctly however the parachute didn't unfurl properly.

NASA is now working to retrieve and analyse the data recorders from the attempt to determine what went wrong so that the problem can be addressed and fixed for the next time.

Two further test flights are expected to take place over the Pacific within the next 18 months.

Source: BBC News | Comments (10)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by alfonso 8 years ago
did anybody actually see and report it?? haha
Comment icon #2 Posted by qxcontinuum 8 years ago
I bet during the tests, the number of ufo flying saucers have been topping a new record...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
I bet during the tests, the number of ufo flying saucers have been topping a new record... How exactly? This has been flown a grand total of once, from under a balloon, over the ocean. How is that going to have raised UFO sightings?
Comment icon #4 Posted by qxcontinuum 8 years ago
Just saying...from this type of tests ufo sightings are often sparked. If i will be happening to walk around and see in the sky something looking like what was posted in the buletin I would believe for a few hours in alien driven UFO's
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Just saying...from this type of tests ufo sightings are often sparked. If i will be happening to walk around and see in the sky something looking like what was posted in the buletin I would believe for a few hours in alien driven UFO's Soo you are often fooled into believing balloons are alien spacecraft are you? Just saying. Read the article, the test vehicle is released at 120,000 ft over the ocean, you would not be able to see it at that altitude.
Comment icon #6 Posted by toast 8 years ago
Test Vehicle Powered Flight vid: Other LDSD test vids here: http://www.nasa.gov/...sd/telecon2014/
Comment icon #7 Posted by ROGER 8 years ago
Did I read the chute was of a new design they were testing ? Just wondering what the modifications were .
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Did I read the chute was of a new design they were testing ? Just wondering what the modifications were . I don't think it is so much the design as the size and materials it is made of. I have failed to find much detail on the chute (NASA call it a Supersonic Disk Sail {SDS} Parachute) apart from the fact that it is massive and designed to open at Mach 2.
Comment icon #9 Posted by ROGER 8 years ago
OK , here's a video from a few weeks ago . If I understand the ring's worked fine , but the cute out of the CAN didn't deploy as expected . I'm thinking the slight spin may have tied up a cord coming out . We will see .
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
LDSD Test Vehicle ReturnsNASA's saucer-shaped test vehicle, the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) was recovered from the ocean and returned to Port Allen, Kauai, on June 29, 2014.Credit: NASA/JPLSource: NASA/JPL - Videos


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