NASA to test Mars "flying saucer" vehicle on Earth
June 25, 2014 09:30 AM | 498 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this undated photo provided by NASA, an engineer works on the Parachute Deployment Device of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test vehicle in this image taken at the Missile Assembly Building at the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kekaha on the island of Kaua‘i in Hawaii. From high altitudes above Earth, the vehicle will test two devices for landing future heavy payloads on Mars. The U.S. space agency is deciding its next move after it lost the chance to launch the vehicle into the Earth’s atmosphere because of unfavorable wind conditions. The mission is designed to test technology that could be used on Mars. (AP Photo/NASA)
In this undated photo provided by NASA, an engineer works on the Parachute Deployment Device of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test vehicle in this image taken at the Missile Assembly Building at the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kekaha on the island of Kaua‘i in Hawaii. From high altitudes above Earth, the vehicle will test two devices for landing future heavy payloads on Mars. The U.S. space agency is deciding its next move after it lost the chance to launch the vehicle into the Earth’s atmosphere because of unfavorable wind conditions. The mission is designed to test technology that could be used on Mars. (AP Photo/NASA)
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In this undated file photo provided by NASA, a saucer-shaped test vehicle known as a Low Density Supersonic Decelerator holding equipment for landing large payloads on Mars is shown in the Missile Assembly Building at the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kekaha on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The U.S. space agency is deciding its next move after it lost the chance to launch the vehicle into the Earth’s atmosphere because of unfavorable wind conditions. The mission is designed to test technology that could be used on Mars. (AP Photo/NASA, File)
In this undated file photo provided by NASA, a saucer-shaped test vehicle known as a Low Density Supersonic Decelerator holding equipment for landing large payloads on Mars is shown in the Missile Assembly Building at the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kekaha on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The U.S. space agency is deciding its next move after it lost the chance to launch the vehicle into the Earth’s atmosphere because of unfavorable wind conditions. The mission is designed to test technology that could be used on Mars. (AP Photo/NASA, File)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A NASA flying saucer designed to test Mars lander technology could be launched on Earth this weekend.

The space agency says Saturday marks the opening of a launch window for the disc. If the weather cooperates, a balloon will carry it from a Navy range on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The disc will be released, then rocket high into the atmosphere and return using a giant parachute.

The same parachute design could slow landers and rovers streaking through the thin Martian atmosphere.

High winds at the range forced authorities to miss the original two-week launch window for the experiment earlier this month.

The new potential launch dates are Saturday through July 1 and July 3.



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