Live Stream: NASA's Flying Saucer Takes a Test Flight This Afternoon

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 - 12:56PM
Space
Technology
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 - 12:56PM
Live Stream: NASA's Flying Saucer Takes a Test Flight This Afternoon
At 2:30 pm today, NASA will launch their flying saucer-shaped vehicle LDSD into near-space for a test launch. Watch the live stream here:


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

The design of the vehicle may look like an alien invasion film and/or a practical joke, but it's actually optimized for interplanetary travel. It is a saucer-shaped spaceship that is powered by rockets and covered with a donut-shaped balloon; its distinctive shape helps increase the surface area, which creates a drag effect and allows for a soft landing (the balloon helps with that as well). As a result of this cutting-edge technology, NASA hopes it will allow us to land large payloads on other planets, including Mars.

"The LDSD crosscutting demonstration mission will test breakthrough technologies that will enable large payloads to be safely landed on the surface of Mars, or other planetary bodies with atmospheres, including Earth," NASA said in a statement. "The technologies will not only enable landing of larger payloads on Mars, but also allow access to much more of the planet's surface by enabling landings at higher-altitude sites."

NASA first tested the LDSD last June in Hawaii. Today's test is specifically a "spin-table test," which will test the rocket's four rotors whose function is to stabilize the spacecraft while it lands. The test was originally scheduled for 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm ET, but has been rescheduled to 2:30 pm ET.
Science
NASA
Space
Technology

Load Comments