02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.26.2017 Mono Lake
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.23.2017 Spirit And Opportunity By The Numbers
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
Timeline of Events for Planetary Landing TestThe saucer-shaped test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) will undergo a series of events in the skies above Hawaii, with the ultimate goal of testing future landing technologies for Mars missions.
At the beginning of the flight test, the vehicle hangs from a tower in preparation for launch. The launch tower helps link the vehicle to its balloon.
At T-minus 0, the vehicle and balloon are released from the tower and begin a slow ascent to an altitude of 120,000 feet (36,600 meters), where the vehicle is released from the balloon. The float to drop altitude is expected to take slightly less than three hours.
After being released from the balloon, the vehicle's rocket kicks in and quickly takes the craft to an altitude of 180,000 feet (54,900 meters) -- the top of the stratosphere -- where the supersonic test begins.
Small solid-fuel rocket motors spin the test vehicle for stability ahead of the main motor ignition. Upon reaching its maximum altitude, the test vehicle is traveling at approximately Mach 4. The test vehicle will then deploy the Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (SIAD), which decelerates the test vehicle to approximately Mach 2.5. The test vehicle will deploy a mammoth parachute (the Supersonic Disk Sail Parachute), which carries it safely to a controlled water impact about 40 minutes after being dropped from the balloon.
Following the flight test, both the balloon envelope and test vehicle will be recovered.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech