NASA 'Flying Saucer' Air Brake Aces Test Flight

August 9, 2014 5:21 AM

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A prototype inflatable braking system to land heavy payloads on Mars aced a debut test flight in June, but its supersonic parachute will need to be reshaped to better accommodate the turbulent airflow of rapid descent, NASA engineers said Friday.

NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) rocketed to an altitude of 190,000 feet after being carried into the stratosphere by a massive helium balloon.

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