NASA Sets New Dates for Saucer-Shaped Test Vehicle Flight

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. 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. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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June 25, 2014

NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project plans to fly its rocket-powered, saucer-shaped landing technology test vehicle into near-space from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii, later this week.

NASA has identified five potential launch dates for the high-altitude balloon carrying the LDSD experiment: June 28, 29, 30, July 1 and 3. The launch window for Saturday, June 28 extends from 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT / 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. EDT).

The test will be carried live via Ustream and simulcast on NASA Television.

The vehicle originally was scheduled for its first test flight earlier in June, but unacceptable weather conditions prevented the launch.

Decisions to attempt launch of the LDSD test will be made the day before each launch opportunity date. NASA will issue launch advisories via the mission website, media advisories and on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/NASA_Technology and https://twitter.com/NASA

NASA will stream live video of the test via Ustream at: http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2

The video may be intermittent based on test activities. Consult the LDSD website for real-time updates of the test.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

After the balloon reaches an altitude of 120,000 feet, the rocket-powered test vehicle will be dropped. Seconds later, its motor will fire, carrying it to 180,000 feet and as fast as about Mach 3.8. LDSD carries several onboard cameras.

More information about the LDSD space technology demonstration mission is online at: http://go.usa.gov/kzZQ

NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate funds the LDSD mission, a cooperative effort led by JPL. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages LDSD within the Technology Demonstration Mission Program Office. NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, is coordinating support with the Pacific Missile Range Facility and providing the balloon systems for the LDSD test.

For more information about the Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

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

David Steitz
Headquarters, Washington
202-236-5829 or 202-358-1730
david.steitz@nasa.gov

Shannon Ridinger
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
256-544-3774 or 256-541-7698
shannon.j.rindinger@nasa.gov

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

2014-202



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