NASA’s ‘Flying Saucer’ Lands After Successful Test
NASA’s “flying saucer” device made a hard landing in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday, ending what the space agency deemed a successful test after attempts earlier in June were cancelled due to high winds. A large helium balloon lifted the device, called a low-density supersonic decelerator, 120,000 feet. During its descent, an inflatable so-called “doughnut” apparatus functioned properly, but a newly-designed supersonic parachute failed to deploy, causing the rough landing. The supersonic parachute, twice the size of the one used to land the Curiosity rover on Mars, is about 110 feet in size.
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