05.15.2017 Putting Martian 'Tribulation' Behind
05.15.2017 From 'Tribulation' to 'Perseverance' on Mars
04.20.2017 Chemical Laptop Team
04.20.2017 Subcritical Water Extractor
04.20.2017 Chemical Laptop
04.20.2017 Atacama Landscape
03.30.2017 Measuring Mars' Atmosphere Loss
03.29.2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to Theisinger
03.29.2017 A Decade of Compiling the Sharpest Mars Map
03.21.2017 Break in Raised Tread on Curiosity Wheel
03.17.2017 COBALT/JPL team
03.09.2017 Back-to-Back Martian Dust Storms
02.27.2017 Swirling Dust in Gale Crater, Mars, Sol 1613
02.27.2017 Dust Devil Passes Near Martian Sand Dune
02.27.2017 Sand Moving Under Curiosity, One Day to Next
02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.26.2017 Mono Lake
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.23.2017 Spirit And Opportunity By The Numbers
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
Timeline of Events for Planetary Landing TestThe saucer-shaped test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) will undergo a series of events in the skies above Hawaii, with the ultimate goal of testing future landing technologies for Mars missions.
At the beginning of the flight test, the vehicle hangs from a tower in preparation for launch. The launch tower helps link the vehicle to its balloon.
At T-minus 0, the vehicle and balloon are released from the tower and begin a slow ascent to an altitude of 120,000 feet (36,600 meters), where the vehicle is released from the balloon. The float to drop altitude is expected to take slightly less than three hours.
After being released from the balloon, the vehicle's rocket kicks in and quickly takes the craft to an altitude of 180,000 feet (54,900 meters) -- the top of the stratosphere -- where the supersonic test begins.
Small solid-fuel rocket motors spin the test vehicle for stability ahead of the main motor ignition. Upon reaching its maximum altitude, the test vehicle is traveling at approximately Mach 4. The test vehicle will then deploy the Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (SIAD), which decelerates the test vehicle to approximately Mach 2.5. The test vehicle will deploy a mammoth parachute (the Supersonic Disk Sail Parachute), which carries it safely to a controlled water impact about 40 minutes after being dropped from the balloon.
Following the flight test, both the balloon envelope and test vehicle will be recovered.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech