NASA’s ‘Flying Saucer’ First Test Flight Delayed

By  //  June 9, 2014

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NASA – The winds aren’t cooperating for NASA’s launch of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) set for today.

The winds aren't cooperating for NASA's launch of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) set for today. (NASA IMAGE)

The winds aren’t cooperating for NASA’s launch of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) set for today. (NASA IMAGE)

The Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) will gather data about landing heavy payloads on Mars and other planetary surfaces.

As NASA plans increasingly ambitious robotic missions to Mars, laying the groundwork for even more complex human science expeditions to come, accommodating extended stays for explorers on the Martian surface will require larger and heavier spacecraft.

The objective of the LDSD project is to see if the cutting-edge, rocket-powered test vehicle operates as it was designed — in near-space at high Mach numbers.

Gazarik-180-1

Michael Gazarik

“The agency is moving forward and getting ready for Mars as part of NASA’s Evolvable Mars campaign,” said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We fly, we learn, we fly again. We have two more vehicles in the works for next year.”

Other potential launch dates include June 11 and 14. Wind conditions have been the prevailing factor in the launch delays ­ they have to be just the right speed and direction in order to launch the balloon that carries the LDSD test vehicle.

The launch decision for Wednesday, June 11 will be made on Tuesday, June 10.

Check back with SpaceCoastDaily.com for updates and follow NASA on Twitter @NASA_Technology and @NASAJPL for the latest LDSD news, and also stay tuned to @NASA_Technology all summer long for the latest on NASA technologies. #321techoff #LDSD #NASA

The test will be carried live on SpaceCoastDaily.com via NASA TV.


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