NASA’s Low Density Supersonic Decelerator vehicle was test-driven for the first time on Saturday. The new technology will be used to help spacecraft and possibly even astronauts experience a softer landing when they finally get to Mars (how they deal with hostile extraterrestrials will be left up to them).
LOS ANGELES (AP) — NASA has tested new technology designed to bring spacecraft — and one day even astronauts — safely down to Mars, with the agency declaring the experiment a qualified success even though a giant parachute got tangled on the way down.
Saturday’s $150 million experiment is the first of three involving the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator vehicle. Tests are being conducted at high altitude onto mimic descent through the thin atmosphere of the Red Planet.