Hawaii: After a series of weather-related delays, NASA launched the test flight of its revolutionary ‘flying saucer’ technology Monday. It was the second test of this flying saucer, called the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator designed to check out landing technologies for future Mars missions.
But it seems that it isn’t ready to land astronauts on Mars just yet as the mission met with only partial success.
The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) vehicle was successfully launched via balloon to 120,000 feet and its rocket was fired. It reached the speeds of up to Mach 4 before engines were shut down. Unfortunately, the parachute shred upon deployment in what was described as a “partial chute.” The parachute deployed but failed to inflate, Kimberly Newton, a spokeswoman for NASA said in an e-mail. The agency plans to provide more details during a news conference on Tuesday, she added.