NASA to test cutting-edge Mars landing technology

Washington: NASA will be flying a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space from the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, in June, the US space agency said in a statement.

The cutting-edge Mars landing technology is part of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project.

The 15-foot-wide, 7,000-pound vehicle will undergo a “spin-table” test for the general public.

The LDSD demonstration mission will test breakthrough technologies that will enable large payloads to be safely landed on the surface of Mars, or other planetary bodies with atmospheres, including Earth.

The technologies will not only enable landing of larger payloads on Mars, but also allow access to much more of the planet’s surface by enabling landings at higher-altitude sites.