Melbourne: NASA has recently tested an effective saucer shaped vehicle technology that could be used for future Mars missions.
The 150 million US Dollars experimental flight was designed to deliver heavier spacecraft and eventually astronauts with a novel vehicle and a giant parachute, News.com.au reported.
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.
NASA reckoned the mission a success despite experiencing small problems like the giant parachute not deploying fully.
After taking off at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, the balloon boosted the disc-shaped vehicle over the Pacific and its rocket motor then ignited, carrying the vehicle to 55km high at supersonic speeds.
Mark Adler of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said that they wanted to test it here where it’s cheaper before they could send it to Mars to make sure that it’s going to work there.