NASA’s flying saucer gets ready for test flight second time in Hawaii

By: | Updated: June 3, 2015 10:27 AM

NASA is all set to test its low-density supersonic decelerator (LDSD), a flying saucer designed to check out landing technologies for future Mars missions, in Hawaii.

nasa flying saucerNASA is all set to test its low-density supersonic decelerator (LDSD), a flying saucer designed to check out landing technologies for future Mars missions, in Hawaii. (Image: NASA)

NASA is all set to test its low-density supersonic decelerator (LDSD), a flying saucer designed to check out landing technologies for future Mars missions, in Hawaii.

The high altitude test at the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, would use a huge balloon to carry the 15-foot wide, 7,000-pound test flying saucer to high altitude, Fox News reported.

The balloon, roughly the size of three football fields, will lift the flying saucer to 120,000 feet, at which point the vehicle will be released. A booster rocket will then transport the saucer at Mach 4, four times the speed of sound, to a height of 180,000 feet.

After reaching a height of 180,000 feet, a doughnut-shaped airbag will inflate around the saucer for its descent to earth.

This would be the second flight test for the flying saucer technology. Last year an LDSD test in Hawaii was deemed a success by engineers, despite the vehicle’s huge parachute apparently failing to deploy properly, according to Space.com.

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