NASA to Hold Briefing to Discuss Status of ‘Flying Saucer’ Test

NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator project completed its second flight test when the saucer-shaped craft splashed down safely Monday in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. A post-flight media teleconference will be held at 1 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, June 9 to review the test. LDSD launched at 7:45 a.m. HST from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility using a large scientific balloon. After it was carried to an altitude of nearly 120,000 feet, the LDSD test vehicle separated from the balloon. An on-board rocket motor ignited and continued to carry the vehicle to nearly 180,000 feet. The LDSD project is one of several cross-cutting technologies NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate is developing to advance the critical technologies required to enable future exploration missions to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including an asteroid, Mars and beyond.