Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Hawaii Says 'Aloha' to NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator
by Staff Writers
Kauai HI (SPX) May 03, 2015

NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator test vehicle arrived at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, on April 25, 2015. Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/PMRF. For a larger version of this image please go here.

The second test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator project arrived April 25 at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. The vehicle now will undergo final assembly and weeks of testing prior to its scheduled experimental flight set for early June. The flight will test two cutting-edge technologies for braking Mars spacecraft.

During last year's test, the supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (SIAD-R), worked flawlessly. The largest supersonic parachute ever flown, however, did not perform as planned. The test did deliver the first-ever high-speed video of supersonic parachute inflation dynamics. This data aided in numerous improvements that have been made to this year's chute - which will be the primary focus of this summer's test.

"Whenever the team members start saying 'aloha' to each other, we know we're getting close to flying," said Mark Adler, project manager for the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

"Last summer's test flight was a great success, proving the soundness of our vehicle design and giving us an early glimpse at our two braking technologies - one year ahead of schedule," Adler said. "This year we're looking forward to seeing how our new parachute behaves in a supersonic environment at the edge of space."

The upper layers of Earth's stratosphere are a proxy for the thin atmosphere of Mars. The June 2015 experimental flight test of LDSD will begin when a balloon carrying the test vehicle lifts off from the Navy facility. The balloon will carry the vehicle over the Pacific to an altitude of about 120,000 feet (37,000 meters). It will be dropped and its booster rocket will kick in, carrying it to 180,000 feet (55,000 meters) and accelerating it to Mach 4.

Once in the very rarefied air high above the Pacific, the vehicle will begin a series of automated tests of the two braking technologies. The SIAD-R - essentially an inflatable doughnut that increases the vehicle's size and, as a result, its drag - will be deployed at about Mach 3.

It will quickly slow the vehicle to Mach 2.43. At that point, the parachute will deploy. About 45 minutes later, the saucer-shaped vehicle is expected to make a controlled landing in the ocean off the coast of Hawaii.

The LDSD crosscutting demonstration mission will test breakthrough technologies that will enable large payloads to be safely landed on the surface of Mars, and also will allow access to more of the planet's surface by enabling landings at higher-altitude sites.

As NASA plans ambitious robotic science missions to Mars, laying the groundwork for even more complex human expeditions to come, the spacecraft needed to land safely on the Red Planet's surface will become larger and heavier in order to accommodate explorers' extended stays on the Martian surface.

The LDSD test vehicle was shipped to the Navy facility aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo plane. The first launch period in which the test vehicle can fly is June 2-12.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator project
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The Mysteries of Astronautics
Bethesda MD (SPX) Apr 29, 2015
Astronautics is the discipline of designing, building, and operating space vehicles. This field of endeavor addresses the design of space missions, spacecraft and in-orbit operations. Related technological areas include rocket engines, launch vehicles, orbital mechanics, satellite dynamics and control, space navigation and numerous others. An astronautics education provides the foundation ... read more

Russia Invites China to Join in Creating Lunar Station

Japan to land first unmanned spacecraft on moon in 2018

Dating the moon-forming impact event with meteorites

Japan to land probe on the moon in 2018

Rover on the Lookout for Dust Devils

UAE opens space center to oversee mission to Mars

Robotic Arm Gets Busy on Rock Outcrop

Mars might have liquid water

The Mysteries of Astronautics

NASA pushes back against proposal to slash climate budget

General Dynamics Integrates NASA's SGSS Infrastructure

India Role Model in Space Science Benefiting Common Man

Xinhua Insight: How China joins space club?

Chinese scientists mull power station in space

China completes second test on new carrier rocket's power system

China's Yutu rover reveals Moon's "complex" geological history

Progress Incident Not Threatening Orbital Station, Work of Crew

Russia loses control of unmanned spacecraft

Japanese astronaut to arrive in ISS in May

Liquid crystal bubbles experiment arrives at International Space Station

Ariane 5's first launch of 2015

Arianespace to launch HellaSat-4/SGS-1 for Arabsat and KACST

Sentinel-2A payload processing begins for Vega launch in June

45th Space Wing successfully launches first-ever Turkmenistan satellite

Robotically discovering Earth's nearest neighbors

Astronomers join forces to speed discovery of habitable worlds

Titan's Atmosphere Useful In Study Of Hazy Exoplanets

Tau Ceti Probably not the next Earth

Electron spin brings order to high entropy alloys

MIPT researchers grow cardiac tissue on 'spider silk' substrate

Seeing Stars Through The Cloud

Graphene brings 3-D holograms clearer and closer

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.