LDSD Climbing to Float Altitude

LDSD-20150608-0925It’s been a little over an hour and 30 minutes since the balloon launched carrying the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerators test vehicle from the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. The balloon is currently at 76 thousand feet and traveling west at roughly 25 knots and continues to climb to float altitude.

Once the balloon reaches 120 thousand feet, it will be approximately an hour before vehicle drop.

Stay tuned for LDSD launch status updates.

Author: Kim Newton

NASA's Low Density Supersonic Decelerator project will be flying a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space this June from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii. 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. These new technologies will not only allow for landing of larger payloads on Mars, but also provide access to much more of the planet's surface by enabling landings at higher altitude sites. The mission continues to demonstrate how technology drives exploration on our journey to Mars, as we test these tools here on Earth right now.