Feeds

NASA flying saucer vids show fire in the sky

Mighty thruster lifts Mars payload delivery tech

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

NASA has released some entertaining short video clips from last Saturday's test of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), showing how the future Mars payload delivery tech flight featured a mighty thruster, some hot airbag action and a while lot of a-whoopin' and a-hollerin'.

The LDSD launched below an enormous helium-filled orb from the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

At 36,500m, it dropped free from the balloon, and was blasted to 55,000m and Mach 4 by a ATK Star 48B solid fuel thruster.

Once the motor had done its job, the "Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator" (SIAD) airbags popped out to slow the vehicle to modest Mach 2.5...

...after which the "Supersonic Disk Sail Parachute" out in a less than fully-deployed appearance:

Despite this glitch, NASA noted since that the SIAD and 'chute were "bonus" elements of a mission principally intended to test the LDSD, the ballocket flight was a success.

The ultimate aim of the LDSD to try out technologies allowing heavier payloads - up from the "current capability of 1.5 metric tons to 2 to 3 metric tons" - to be safely delivered to the surface of Mars. NASA has two further flights scheduled for next year. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.