NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Test Fails (Again)

Image Credit: NASA

After waiting out a week of bad weather in the recovery area, NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test vehicle finally caught its ride to the upper atmosphere over the Hawaiian islands today, but the unfortunate result was much the same as last year. Following a successful balloon loft, payload release and solid rocket motor firing which pushed the vehicle to Mach 4, the first of two critical components, the donut shaped supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator, or SIAD, inflated properly.

Things went quickly awry however only seconds after the supersonic discsail parachute deployed, with a rapid collapse of the redesigned parachute captured by on-board cameras accompanied by the clearly audible groan of mission controllers at JPL.

There will be a 1:00 PM EDT news conference tomorrow to discuss the results of today’s test.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available.

Posted in: NASA

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2 Comments on "NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Test Fails (Again)"

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  1. Kudos for trying. Flight in this pressure regime is really, really hard, as we’ve been discovering.

    If NASA doesn’t have the funds to keep trying, I would hope for SpaceX to take up the slack at some point. This technology is just too potentially valuable to let it slide. We’ve got to keep trying and testing until we get it right.

  2. “your going to need a bigger sled”

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