Technology NASA Fires Rocket High Above U.S. East Coast to Test Supersonic Parachute for Mars

21:47  05 october  2017
21:47  05 october  2017 Source:   MSN

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Early Wednesday morning, NASA launched an unmanned rocket on a course high above the U . S . East Coast , as it does with some frequency. No, this rocket launch was designed for a task that combines a handful of awesome words into one even cooler phrase: test a supersonic parachute

In the video above , NASA engineers use a rocket sled to test an enormous supersonic parachute that could one day land spacecraft on Mars . Oh yeah, did we mention that NASA has a rocket sled?

Early Wednesday morning, NASA launched an unmanned rocket on a course high above the U.S. East Coast, as it does with some frequency. Unlike other such launches, however, this rocket wasn't trying to loft supplies up to the International Space Station, nor paint the sky with colorful artificial clouds. No, this rocket launch was designed for a task that combines a handful of awesome words into one even cooler phrase: test a supersonic parachute experiment designed for use on Mars.

The launch, conducted from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, involved a 58-foot-tall Black Brant IX sounding rocket with the parachute experiment strapped to the top. The rocket blasted off at approximately 6:45am EDT, eventually achieving an altitude of 31.6 miles after around two minutes of flight time before plummeting back down and landing as planned in the Atlantic Ocean for retrieval.

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Two rocket -sled tests showed good performance of this new chute design, but the real test is still to be performed – high above the Pacific aboard the LDSD vehicle. of Mach 2.4 at which point the ballute will be fired to help extract the supersonic parachute .

• To safely land heavier spacecraft on Mars , larger- parachutes and other kinds of drag devices that can be deployed at supersonic speeds are needed. • High in Earth’ s stratosphere, NASA ’ s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator mission will test new

The Martian parachute project is known as ASPIRE—which stands, appropriately enough, for "Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment." The ASPIRE, developed by the Jet Propulsion Lab in California, aims to test ways to use parachutes to slow probes and equipment during a descent to Mars. Traditional parachutes made for Earth's hearty air are of little use on the Red Planet, which has roughly one-half of percent of the atmosphere density our planet possesses; Martian 'chutes, therefore, must be capable of working in thin air and at high speeds. Hence, the high-altitude test above the Atlantic, where Earth's atmosphere is paltry enough to serve as a test case for our neighboring world's blanket of gases.

While the project is designed for extraterrestrial use, there may be other, more Earth-bound the ASPIRE parachutes could be used. After all, Elon Musk's Hyperloop might very well benefit from some sort of emergency stopping solution in the event it finds itself coasting powerless through its super-depressurized tubes.

This article was originally published on TheDrive.com

Atlas V Rocket Launches New US Spy Satellite on Secret Mission .
The United States has launched its second secret spy satellite in less than three weeks. The NROL-52 satellite soared into orbit this morning (Oct. 15) atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, which lifted off at 3:28 a.m. EDT (0728 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.The launch came after more than a week of delays due to weather and a suspect telemetry transmitter that had to be replaced.An Atlas 5 also provided the ride for the NROL-42 reconnaissance satellite, which launched on Sept. 24 from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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