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NASA's 'flying saucer' to test supersonic landing from edge of space

from Popular Science

Recently, after several days of weather delays, NASA is going to see what it would be like to land a giant flying saucer on Mars by launching an experimental spacecraft here on Earth: the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator. The space agency will use a giant weather balloon to carry the LDSD to an altitude of 120,000 feet above Hawaii. There, a rocket booster will shoot the disc up even farther to 180,000 feet, getting it up to supersonic speeds. That’s about how fast a lander will be traveling during a descent to Mars. more


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