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  1. Supersonic parachute on NASA’s ‘flying saucer’ fails in test

Supersonic parachute on NASA’s ‘flying saucer’ fails in test

The biggest supersonic parachute ever deployed, was torn apart during the second flight test of NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) vehicle on June 8.

By: | Washington | Published: June 9, 2015 3:51 PM

The biggest supersonic parachute ever deployed, was torn apart during the second flight test of NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) vehicle on June 8.

After reaching a height of 180,000 feet at Mach 4 a doughnut-shaped airbag, called a Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (SIAD) successfully inflated around the saucer for its descent to earth, only partially opened, Fox News has reported.

This was the second flight test for the flying saucer technology, which aims to develop landing vehicles for future missions to Mars.

With current space technologies, NASA can land about 1 metric tonne, or 2,200 pounds on the surface of Mars, roughly equivalent to the Curiosity Rover’s weight.

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Tags: MarsNasa

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