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Monday, June 30, 2014

NASA tested the spacecraft landing system on Mars

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), the U.S. space agency successfully tested a new technology that can be used to land a spacecraft on Mars (See related article).
Artist's impression: A rocket motor was used to shoot the vehicle up through the stratosphere. (Picture from: http://bbc.in/1lDW8Rq)
An experimental helium balloon launched a saucer-shaped aircraft called Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) at supersonic speeds of up to 55 kilometers above the earth, where the environment is similar to the thin Martian atmosphere.

A donut-shaped shield and a large parachute opened to slow the speed of the flying saucer before landing in the Pacific Ocean. It is expected that this system will allow heavier spacecraft and even the astronauts to land on Mars.
The LDSD was released almost three hours after its carrier balloon left the ground. (Picture from: http://bbc.in/1lDW8Rq)
The launch is performed from Hawaii was delayed six times this month due to strong winds. NASA engineers said before the trial that they will collect valuable data to determine whether the LDSD technology can work well or not. The spacecraft is expected to return to Hawaii next year to conduct two further test flights. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | BBC]
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