Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 


Peter Diamandis

NASA to send 'flying saucer' to edge of space

Posted in Science on 6th Jun, 2015 12:35 AM by AlexMuller

NASA is going to see what it would be like to land a flying saucer on Mars by launching an experimental spacecraft on Earth: the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD).They will use a balloon to carry the LDSD to an altitude of 120,000 feet above Hawaii. There, a rocket will shoot the disc to 180,000 feet, getting it to supersonic speeds.


That’s about how fast a lander will be traveling during a descent to Mars. As it’s traveling three times the speed of sound, the LDSD’s balloon will inflate and start slowing it down. Its supersonic parachute will then deploy, slowing the vehicle down even more until it gently lands in the Pacific Ocean. The parachute didn't work as well as expected during their spacecraft’s first test mission, so NASA scientists are hoping for a better result this time around.


The entire test is a big dress rehearsal for a future visit to the Red Planet by humans. Landing on Mars is going to be a tricky endeavor. The planet’s atmosphere is very thin, making it difficult to gently place any interplanetary astronauts on its surface. Currently, most landers rely on a combination of drag from Earth’s atmosphere and parachutes to slow down vehicles returning from space, but there’s just not enough air resistance surrounding Mars to stop heavy landers from slamming into the ground.
NASA’s solution to this problem is the LDSD. The oddly shaped craft, whose design recalls the UFOs of sci-fi lore, is designed around decreasing aerodynamic efficiency. Along with an inflatable balloon wrapped around the vehicle’s edge, the LDSD’s shape is aimed at increasing surface area and producing as much drag as possible during descent. Then, a combination of drogue parachutes will deploy, slowing the vehicle down even further, hopefully allowing astronauts to get down to Mars in one piece.

Tags: spaceNASAspacecraftMarsLow Density Supersonic Decelerator

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-06-06
LDSD could be the technology that will lend people on mars and indeed this needs to be well rehearsed and made safe..... Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-07-22
I read your post and wieshd I was good enough to write it Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2018-03-16 11:03:28
    60.3% of harmful Android apps in 2017 detected more
    Posted in Hardware on 2018-03-16 11:00:28
    Big harpoon is 'solution to space junk' more
    Posted in Science on 2018-03-16 10:58:40
    Russia will beat NASA to mars and find water on the moon, more
    Posted in Business on 2018-03-14 07:02:30
    X Prize announces $10 million competition to more
    Posted in Business on 2018-03-14 06:57:20
    How to spot a cryptocurrency more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me