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NASA mission managers are preparing for a launch attempt today, Saturday, of a high-altitude balloon carrying the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test vehicle to the edge of space on a test flight from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.
Live coverage on this channel will begin at 8:10 a.m. HST (11:10 a.m. PDT/2:10 p.m. EDT).
Today's balloon launch window extends from approximately 8:15 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. HST (11:15 a.m. to noon PDT, 2:15 to 3 p.m. EDT). The balloon will take approximately 2-3 hours to achieve float conditions. Shortly thereafter, the test vehicle will be released from the balloon and the test will begin.
This is part one of a 12-step program to get people to Mars,” said Project Manager Mark Adler of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge.
On Saturday, assuming all goes well, these vessels will collect the sodden remains of a massive high-altitude balloon, a saucer-shaped spaceship and its black box (which is designed to detach when it hits the water in case the vehicle starts to sink).
If they do, it will mean the first full-scale test of NASA’s new Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (or LDSD) took place high in the atmosphere. The LDSD could be the space agency’s next hero in the quest to explore the Red Planet; the device acts like a brake pedal for large loads headed to its surface.
The NASA team figured out how to install a rocket engine in the prime real estate where the parachute usually belongs, smack dab in the center of a circular projectile. They have learned new knots for attaching the device to the balloon and debated which type of dye markers will help them find the floating objects in the sea.
originally posted by: raikata
Hello, this is my first post on the forum. I just watched this video (the first one in the article) www.space.com... and noticed this strange white object at 1:07-1:08. What's that?