The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, also known as the “flying saucer” will push through with its test flight if the weather conditions improve. NASA will broadcast the event on Friday at 1:30 pm (1730 GMT) on Friday if things go well.
According to NASA, “A line of rain showers developed overnight moving towards the launch site, which result in unstable wind conditions near the surface that would prevent the launch of the balloon.”
Because of the high ocean waves, the test has been delayed several times, as it was scheduled to start earlier this week. The narrowing launch window, which is up to June 12, is not helping.
Sending spacecrafts to Mars is nothing new. NASA has been sending space crafts to the red planet since the 1970’s, but these tests is for a new technology—the Supersonic Ringsail Parachute—that will allow heavier payloads such as larger spacecraft that can carry supplies and humans onto the red planet.
Because Mar’s atmosphere is a lot thinner than Earth’s, parachutes meant to handle fast-moving heavy crafts need to be extremely strong. This is also important for missions that involve sending humans that NASA wants to do by the 2030s.
According to NASA: “Traveling at three times the speed of sound, the saucer´s decelerator will inflate, slowing the vehicle, and then a parachute will deploy at 2.35 times the speed of sound to carry it to the ocean´s surface.”