NASA’s giant supersonic parachute test flight is made live for everybody to see



On Tuesday, the test flight originally slated that mission managers were forced to postpone from launching due to uncomplimentary ocean conditions.

The waves were too high for members of the crew to safely recover the craft after it plops down into the sea.

The next schedule to launch will at 7:30 a.m. Thursday. NASA hopes for a suitable condition by then, so that the enormous balloon can lift the test vehicle that carries the disc-shaped Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) to a 120,000 feet height, (more than 20 miles or 32 kilometers), above the surface of Earth.

Mission controllers will then set the LDSD to fire its rockets and run through the core of the test, a gigantic supersonic parachute that measures 100 feet (30 meters) across.

“You get to see all the same video I do, at the same time I do.  This year’s test is centered on how our newly designed supersonic parachute will perform. We think we have a great design ready for the challenge, but the proof is in the pudding and the pudding will be made live for everyone to see.” project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Mark Adler,  said online in a news release.

The LDSD was tested last year for the first time, launched also from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range facility at Kauai in  Hawaii, the deployment process of the giant parachute was the only problem, as the expected inflation did not happen.

This time, a new design will be put to a test, the Supersonic Ringsail parachute, that NASA declares is the largest supersonic parachute ever to be tested for use on the red planet Mars.




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