The saucer-shaped test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project, packaged in the box shown here, was shipped via plane to the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii on April 17.

The saucer-shaped test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project, packaged in the box shown here, was shipped via plane to the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii on April 17. The engineering test flight of this vehicle could occur as early as June 3. The saucer will be boosted to high altitudes via balloon and rocket, before releasing an inflatable doughnut-shaped tube and an enormous supersonic parachute -- possible landing technologies for future Mars missions.

The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Project is managed by JPL for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington.

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