They're doing the testing at high altitudes to simulate thin atmospheric conditions on Mars. In a twist, the flying saucer isn't coming from the Red Planet...we're sending our own.
NASA did not conduct the flight test of the agency's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range in Kauai, Hawaii, during its designated launch period. The project's reserved time at the range will expire Saturday without NASA being able to fly the test because of continuing unfavorable weather conditions.
NASA will hold a media teleconference at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT) on Thursday, June 12 to discuss what this delay in the LDSD testing means and possible next steps for the project.
Speakers will be:
--Mark Adler, LDSD Project Manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California
--Ian Clark, LDSD Principal Investigator at JPL
The teleconference will be streamed live on NASA's website at: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio