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sábado, 31 de mayo de 2014

NASA : NASA Sets Media Coverage for Saucer-Shaped Test Vehicle Flight in Hawaii

LDSD Testing for Large Payloads to Mars
LDSD is prepared for a Range Compatibility Test
NASA’s saucer-shaped experimental flight vehicle, the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator, or LDSD, is prepared for a Range Compatibility Test at the US Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kaua‘i, Hawaii.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
 
What will it take to land heavier spacecraft on Mars? How will engineers slow large payloads traveling at supersonic speeds in a thin Martian atmosphere? Can this be done?

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility is playing an integral role in potentially answering those questions with the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator mission, or LDSD.
To conduct advanced exploration missions in the future and safely land heavier spacecraft on Mars, NASA must advance the technology of decelerating large payloads traveling at supersonic speeds in thin atmospheres to a new level of performance. The current technology for decelerating payloads dates back to NASA’s Viking Program, which placed two landers on Mars in 1976. That same technology is still being used and most recently delivered the Curiosity rover to Mars in 2012.
NASA is creating new technology for its flight to Mars by mimicking the behavior of Pufferfish. Pufferfish are poor swimmers, but can quickly ingest huge amounts of water to turn themselves into a virtually inedible ball several times their normal size.
 
NASA is creating new technology for its flight to Mars by mimicking the behavior of Pufferfish. Pufferfish are poor swimmers, but can quickly ingest huge amounts of water to turn themselves into a virtually inedible ball several times their normal size.
Image Credit: Chris Laughlin/Animals Animals-Earth Scenes
 
Future robotic missions to Mars and even future human exploration will require more massive payloads than previously sent to the surface of the Red Planet. To accomplish these goals, NASA is developing new systems to deliver this important cargo to the surface of Mars.

NASA scientists and engineers borrowed a technique used by the ‘o’opu hue, also known as the Hawaiian pufferfish. The technique? Rapid inflation. For the pufferfish, it is simply a defense mechanism. For NASA, it is potentially the element that links to the future of space exploration.
Set for a test launch in early June from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, LDSD will use a 20-foot diameter, solid rocket-powered balloon-like vessel called a Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (SIAD) to test these capabilities.
To duplicate many of the most important aspects of Mars’ thin atmosphere, NASA plans to use the very thin air found high in Earth’s stratosphere as a test bed for the LDSD mission.
To reach the desired altitude of 120,000 feet, the LDSD project will use a helium-filled scientific balloon provided by NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility. When fully deployed, the balloon itself is over 34 million cubic feet. At that size alone, one could fit a professional football stadium inside it. The material that makes the balloon, a very thin film called polyethylene that is similar thickness to that of sandwich wrap, will lift the massive test article to 120,000 feet.
At that altitude, the test article will be detached from the balloon and a solid rocket motor will be employed to boost the test article on a trajectory to reach supersonic speeds (Mach 4) needed to test the SIAD.
Once at supersonic speeds, the deployment and function of the inflatable decelerators will be tested to slow the test article to a speed where it becomes safe to deploy a supersonic parachute. The balloon and test article will all be recovered from the ocean.
Two recovery vessels, Kahana and Konua, will recover the test article and balloon respectively. Before the articles can be recovered, a G-2 and a C-26 aircraft will focus on determining positioning of the articles for recovery. Wallops, with extensive experience vehicle recovery, will oversee the recovery operations for the LDSD mission.
In addition to the balloon operations and oversight of recovery, Wallops is the range services coordinator, has provided the core electronics for the test article and electrical ground support equipment.
NASA has identified six potential launch dates for the balloon carrying LDSD: June 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 14. The June 3 launch window extends from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. HST, or 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT. The test can be viewed live on NASA TV beginning at 7:45 a.m. HST (1:45 p.m. EDT) or on the web at:
More information about the LDSD mission is available online at:
For more information about Wallops Flight Facility, visit:
NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington funds the LDSD mission, a cooperative effort led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. JPL is home to the LDSD project manager, Mark Adler, and its principal investigator, Ian Clark. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville, Alabama, manages LDSD within the Technology Demonstration Mission Program Office. NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is coordinating support with the Pacific Missile Range Facility and providing the balloon systems for the LDSD test.
Rebecca Hudson
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va.
 
NASA Sets Media Coverage for Saucer-Shaped Test Vehicle Flight in Hawaii
NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project will fly a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space next week from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. Several events are planned for reporters who would like to cover this unique space technology engineering test flight.
On Monday, June 2, reporters who have previously received access clearance from the U.S. Navy are invited to the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Kauai to attend a news conference about the test. After the televised briefing at 8 a.m. HST, reporters in attendance will be offered a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility and LDSD operations. Reporters planning to attend the Monday briefing must arrive at PMRF no later than 7 a.m. for escort onto the facility.
Journalists unable to attend can participate in the briefing via teleconference and should contact David Steitz at david.steitz@nasa.gov or 202-236-5829 for dial-in information.
Briefing panelists include:
-- U.S. Navy Capt. Bruce Hay, PMRF Commanding Officer
-- Mike Gazarik, Associate Administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, Washington
--Mark Adler, LDSD Project Manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California
--Ian Clark, LDSD principal investigator at JPL
Gazarik will be available for live television interviews from midnight - 6 a.m. (6 a.m. - noon EDT) Monday. To reserve an interview time and get satellite coordinates, media should contact David Steitz.
NASA has identified six potential dates for launch of the high-altitude balloon carrying the LDSD experiment: June 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 14. Decisions to attempt launch of the LDSD test will be made the day before each launch opportunity date. NASA will issue launch advisories via the mission website, media advisories and on Twitter at:
and
On launch attempt days, journalists are invited to PMRF to watch the liftoff and flight of the balloon carrying the LDSD. The June 3 launch window extends from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. HST.
After the balloon launch, reporters will be able to watch flight events as they unfold on monitors at the LDSD media center located in the PMRF hangar. Reporters must arrive each balloon launch attempt day no later than 7 a.m. for escort onto the base. Journalists should follow the LDSD mission website for daily launch window dates and times.
NASA's LDSD carries several onboard cameras. It is expected that video of selected portions of the test, including the rocket-powered ascent, will be downlinked and streamed live to several NASA websites. Reporters not attending can watch the balloon launch and subsequent test on NASA TV, or on the web at:
and
Live commentary is expected to begin at 7:45 a.m. HST (1:45 p.m. EDT). For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and updated scheduling information, visit:
After the balloon reaches an altitude of 120,000 feet, the rocket-powered test vehicle will be dropped. Seconds later, its motor will fire, carrying it to 180,000 feet and as fast as Mach 3.8. LDSD carries several onboard cameras.
More information about the LDSD space technology demonstration mission is online at:
NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate funds the LDSD mission, a cooperative effort led by JPL. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages LDSD within the Technology Demonstration Mission Program Office. NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, is coordinating support with the Pacific Missile Range Facility and providing the balloon systems for the LDSD test.
For more information about the Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit:
 
NASA
Guillermo Gonzalo Sánchez Achutegui