Pics NASA says it has successfully test-flown a “flying saucer” – the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) – after meteorological conditions finally available a hearing on Saturday.
The LDSD is a re-entry judgment for destiny flights to Mars. The qualification works by inflating a “Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator” (SIAD), that NASA describes as a “large, doughnut-shaped initial deceleration record that deployed during a flight.” The doughnut is indeed a balloon-like “pressure vessel” that, by embiggening, increases attrition to delayed a cargo while also cushioning it from windy phenomena.
Lifted from a US Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai by a vast 963,000m3 helium-filled balloon – vast adequate when entirely arrogant to “fit snugly into Pasadena’s Rose Bowl” – a car expelled during 36,500m and was afterwards bloody to 55,000m and Mach 4 by a ATK Star 48B plain fuel thruster.
The LDSD soars majestically heavenwards. Pic: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Fire in a sky: The LDSD’s rocket engine in action. Pic: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The LDSD afterwards successfully deployed a inflatable deceleration airbags (the “Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator”, or SIAD), negligence a car to a medium Mach 2.5.
The exam mostly went well, nonetheless a Supersonic Disk Sail Parachute didn’t muster properly.
Accordingly, NASA hailed a moody as a success.
LDSD plan manager Mark Adler enthused: “We are anxious about yesterday’s test. The exam car worked beautifully, and we met all of a moody objectives. We have recovered all a car hardware and information recorders and will be means to request all of a lessons schooled from this information to a destiny flights.”
Recovery vessel Kahana pulls a LDSD from a Pacific. Pic: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The indicate of all this ballocket wit was to try out pack for destiny Mars cargo landings, during altitudes that many closely compare a planet’s skinny atmosphere. NASA says: “In sequence to get incomparable payloads to Mars, and to pave a approach for destiny tellurian explorers, cutting-edge technologies like LDSD are critical. Among other applications, this new space record will capacitate smoothness of a reserve and materials indispensable for long-duration missions to a Red Planet.”
The group has dual serve exam flights scheduled for 2015. It’s “analyzing information on a parachute so that lessons schooled can be applied” to a subsequent flights. ®