The Supersonic Disk Sail Parachute, one of the new technologies being developed as part of NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project, floats in the Pacific Ocean after the completion of its first flight test, on June 28, 2014. The test occurred off the coast of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. The photo was obtained by Navy divers during recovery of the LDSD test vehicle and parachute.
Tears are visible in the parachute, which did not deploy as expected. Lessons learned from analysis of the test data will be applied for the next test flights, scheduled for early 2015.
NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate funds the LDSD mission, a cooperative effort led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. NASA's Technology Demonstration Mission program manages LDSD at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, coordinated support with the Pacific Missile Range Facility, provided the core electrical systems for the test vehicle, and coordinated the balloon and recovery services for the LDSD test.
For more information about the LDSD space technology demonstration mission: http://go.usa.gov/kzZQz.