The LDSD launch support team is go to report to stations tonight at 9 p.m. HST to begin preparations for a Monday, June 8, 7:30 a.m. HST (1:30 p.m. EDT) launch attempt from the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. NASA Television and JPL’s Ustream channel will carry live coverage of the launch beginning at 7 a.m. HST (1 p.m. EDT).
The scientific balloon will begin inflation at 6:15 a.m. HST and after launch will take about three hours to reach its float altitude of 120,000 feet. About 45 minutes after the balloon reaches test altitude, the saucer-shaped LDSD test vehicle will be dropped and its powered flight will begin.
A solid-fueled rocket engine will kick in sending the test vehicle to the edge of the stratosphere, or about 180,000 feet, at a speed of Mach 4.
At about Mach 3, the test vehicle will deploy the supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (SIAD). The SIAD decelerates the vehicle to approximately Mach 2.4. The test vehicle will then deploy a supersonic parachute, which will carry the test vehicle to a controlled water impact.
The LDSD crosscutting technology demonstration mission will test two braking technologies that will enable larger payloads to be landed safely on the surface of Mars or other planetary bodies with atmospheres, including Earth.