Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NASA Waiting For Calm Skies to Launch Martian Lander Test Vehicle

NASA is still hoping to  launch a "flying saucer" into Earth's atmosphere. The intent is to test Mars mission tech.  In part NASA wants to test areo breaking and super sonic parachutes to slow down future probes and rovers.  Bad weather at the initial launch facility is preventing the system from launching the test vehicles. 

The test bed for now is a helium balloon to carry the disc-shaped vehicle over the Pacific. 

The mission is designed to test a new supersonic vehicle and giant parachute in Earth's stratosphere where conditions are similar to the red planet.

From the article HERE:
  • For decades, NASA relied on the same parachute design to slow spacecraft streaking through the thin Martian atmosphere. The 1-ton Curiosity rover that landed in 2012 used the same basic parachute as the twin Viking landers in 1976.

Complete NASA article on ABC news is HERE

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