Watch NASA launch a new 'Supersonic Flying Saucer'
The Low Density Supersonic Decelerator imitates the rapid inflation technique of the Hawaiian puffer fish
Sunday 10 August 2014
Footage has been released by Nasa of its latest space project, a new “supersonic flying saucer”.
The video of the saucer, which was launched from Hawaii on the 28 June, shows it being propelled 120,000ft into orbit by a giant balloon.
The device, officially named Low Density Supersonic Decelerator, imitates the rapid inflation technique of the Hawaiian puffer fish, and is part of Nasa’s attempts to try and protect its spacecraft during landings in space.
It is hoped that this new technique will reduce the speed of spacecraft on landings making it easier for Nasa to land craft on planets like Mars.
On landing, the new technique makes it possible to reduce a spacecraft’s speed from four times the speed of sound to two and a half times the speed of sound.
Currently, parachutes several times the size of those used for landings on earth are needed to land NASA’s Curiosity Rovers craft on Mars.
However, for future Nasa missions, spacecraft much heavier than the one-ton Curiosity Rover will be needed, and a new reduced landing speed will be essential for this.
- 1 Engineer pictured fixing plane's engine with 'duct tape' by concerned EasyJet passenger
- 2 Two-year-old says goodbye to bin man best friend
- 4 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 5 Remove smartphones from the hands of under-18s and maybe they will grow up to be less dumb
Engineer pictured fixing plane's engine with 'duct tape' by concerned EasyJet passenger
Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
Ancient 2,400-year-old gold bongs discovered in Russia
Porn stars in California may be forced to wear goggles under new legislation
Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an i...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...
£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...