NASA Briefing for Supersonic Saucer-Shaped Vehicle

NASA workers at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA workers at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, wearing clean room "bunny suits," prepare the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test article for shipment later this month to Hawaii. LDSD will help land bigger space payloads on Mars or return them back to Earth. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
› Full image and caption
  • submit to reddit

May 15, 2014

A mission overview briefing about NASA's upcoming flight test of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) experiment will be provided to reporters attending a media day on Monday, June 2, at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii. The public can watch the briefing via live streaming, at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT/8 a.m. HST).

NASA's LDSD test is designed to investigate breakthrough technologies that will benefit landing future human and robotic Mars missions, as well as aid in safely returning large payloads to Earth. The NASA LDSD test over the Pacific Ocean will simulate the entry, descent and landing speeds a spacecraft would be exposed to when flying through the Martian atmosphere. During the test, a large saucer-shaped disk carrying an inflatable inner-tube-shaped decelerator and parachute system will be carried to an altitude of 120,000 feet (37 kilometers) by a giant balloon. After release from the balloon, rockets will lift the disk to 180,000 feet (55 kilometers) while reaching supersonic speeds. Traveling at 3.75 times the speed of sound, the saucer's decelerator will inflate, slowing the vehicle, and then a parachute will deploy to carry it to the ocean's surface.

Briefing participants will include:

-- Capt. Bruce Hay USN, commanding officer, Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii

-- Michael Gazarik, associate administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington

-- Mark Adler, LDSD project manager, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

-- Ian Clark, LDSD principal investigator, JPL

The briefing will be streamed live on the agency's website at:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

It will also be carried live on:

http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2

NASA has six potential dates for launch of the high-altitude balloon carrying the LDSD experiment: June 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 14. The launch window for each date extends from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. HST.

NASA's LDSD carries several onboard cameras. It is expected that video of selected portions of the test, including the rocket-powered ascent, will be downlinked and streamed live to several NASA websites, including:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

and

http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2

Decisions to attempt launch of the LDSD test will be made the day before each launch opportunity date. NASA will issue launch advisories via social media -- @NASA_Technology and @NASA - as well as the mission website and news media advisories.

For more information about NASA's LDSD, visit the mission page at:

http://go.usa.gov/kzZQ

NASA's LDSD program is part of the agency's Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA's future missions. For more information about NASA's investment in space technology, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

DC Agle
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-393-9011
agle@jpl.nasa.gov

David E. Steitz
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1730
david.steitz@nasa.gov

Stefan Alford
Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii
808-335-4740
stefan.alford@navy.mil

2014-149



Saucer Out of the Drink NASA Holds Briefing on Early Test Results for New Planetary Landing Technology

› Read more

NASA's LDSD is lifted aboard the Kahana recovery vessel First LDSD Test Flight a Success

› Read more

This artist's concept shows the test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), designed to test landing technologies for future Mars missions. NASA Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Set to Lift Off

› Read more


Get JPL Updates
Sign Up for JPL UpdatesRegister today and receive up-to-the-minute e-mail alerts delivered directly to your inbox.
Sign Up for JPL Updates