Nasa's 'flying saucer' splashes back down after test

So much for US advanced technology when they can't even plan a parachute to open correctly. What a crock.

Nasa's 'flying saucer', testing technology designed to aid future landings on Mars, suffers 'hard landing' when descent parachute doesn't employ fully

The Telegraph
29 June 2014

A saucer-shaped Nasa vehicle testing new technology for Mars landings made a successful rocket ride over the Pacific on Saturday, but its massive descent parachute only partially unfurled.

The Low Density Supersonic Decelerator was lifted by balloon 120,000 feet into the air from the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The vehicle then rocketed even higher before deploying a novel inflatable braking system.

But cheers rapidly died as a gigantic chute designed to slow its fall to splashdown in the ocean emerged tangled.

NASA officials were nonetheless satisfied with the test of technology that might one day be used to deliver heavy spacecraft – and eventually astronauts – to Mars.

Since the twin Viking spacecraft landed on the red planet in 1976, Nasa has relied on the same parachute design to slow landers and rovers after piercing through the thin Martian atmosphere.

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