NASA’s Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) Test Vehicle
- NASA to Launch Special Flying Saucer Tomorrow to Send Humans on Mars
- LDSD’s Next Launch Attempt is Wednesday, June 3 at 1:30 p.m. EDT
NASA is to employ a special flying saucer of sorts for future space missions to Mars. The technology involved in this is highly specialized.
Aviators have always dared to be bold and experimental regarding mankind’s dream of flight in the blue skies above. Since the first manned flight at Kitty Hawk, the list of achievements has been getting more and more complicated and unbelievable. Nowadays, there are actually such aircraft on earth that can travel at several times the speed of sound. We sure have come a long way since the good old days.
Take NASA’s recent LDSD project which is aimed at bringing back photographic imagery of Mars via a spacecraft that will come close enough to the Red Planet to take the pictures. The beauty of this is that the depictions will be transferred live to planet earth as they are captured via high definition digital photography.
The supersonic parachute system is a wondrous thing to behold. The launch timing was set for the 2nd of June, yet things didn’t work out as per plan.
The LDSD was meant to be taken into the stratosphere via a large balloon. And the LDSD system was to be taken to a height of 120,000 feet. After reaching such a phenomenal height, the real action was to begin.
While these technologies are currently being tested on earth, they will be applicable to the Martian climate and terrestrial loci soon. And although human beings traversing Mars is a scenario that is a long way off even for NASA, the dream is still alive and well and it might become a reality one fine day.
The urge to explore space – the final frontier – is something about which there is some controversy. There are those critics who say that while billions of dollars are spent repeatedly to put a man on the moon each year, billions die of starvation on earth.
This mismatch between the affluent society and the third world is captured in the phrase “The West and the Rest”. It is a game of power and hegemony that has consequences for many who are on the margins while benefitting unequally those at the center.
But in fact we always need to hear both sides of the story. The scientific spinoffs from space exploration have a salubrious effect on the expanding bases of discoveries and inventions.
Thus the overall baselines of all the societies on earth are improved economically thanks to science and the scientific method. Everyone gains in the end and no one is a loser.
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