Turns out NASA does have a flying saucer, just probably not the one Agent Mulder, Dan Aykroyd, and that guy from Ancient Aliens thought they did. Yesterday NASA (finally) successfully tested their Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), and it could soon be used to land on Mars.
After multiple launch delays, the LDSD finally took flight yesterday with a successful supersonic flight. The LDSD was launched by balloon from the US Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii before its own powered flight began. After dropping from the balloon, the LDSD stayed in powered flight for about 30 minutes before splashing down in the ocean after the test had been concluded.
The goal of the LDSD is to land larger crafts on planetary surfaces than is currently possible with the parachute technology first developed for the Viking lander missions back in 1976. This successful flight in an important step in getting humans to Mars, but there’s a long road ahead.
- National Research Council tells NASA to get its ass to Mars
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