Tags: nasa | flying saucer | mars | launch

NASA 'Flying Saucer' Launch Delayed Once Again Because of Weather

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014 12:17 PM

NASA's plans to launch a "flying saucer" into Earth's atmosphere to test technology that could be used for a Mars landing have been postponed because of weather, a space organization spokesperson announced this week.

The next possible date to send the saucer-shaped probe into orbit is June 14, NASA spokeswoman Shannon Ridinger said. The test has already been scrapped multiple times since June 2 because of winds.

The intention is to determine whether newly developed technology can assist in the eventual spacecraft or human landing on the Red Planet. NASA still depends on the parachute design used to land the Viking spacecraft on Mars more than four decades ago, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Investigator Ian Clark told USA Today earlier this month.

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"We've been using the same parachutes for several decades now," Clark told the paper. "If we want to eventually land a human on the surface of Mars, we realized we need to develop new technologies."

NASA needs a larger and stronger chute to land heavier objects and, hopefully, astronauts. The test vehicle will be launched from the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on the Hawaiian island of Kauai via a giant balloon. It will eventually break away and ascend to 34 miles, when it will drop to Earth.

That drop will trigger a rocket on the vehicle attached to the saucer, catapulting it four times the speed of sound and simulating the speed of a spacecraft headed to Mars. It will then brake from supersonic speeds and land on water using a parachute.

"We want to test them here — where it's a lot cheaper — before we send them to Mars," project manager Mark Adler told USA Today.

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NASA's plans to launch a "flying saucer" into Earth's atmosphere to test technology that could be used for a Mars landing have been postponed because of weather, a space organization spokesperson announced this week.
nasa, flying saucer, mars, launch
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2014-17-11
Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014 12:17 PM
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