back to article NASA flying saucer vids show fire in the sky

NASA has released some entertaining short video clips from last Saturday's test of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), showing how the future Mars payload delivery tech flight featured a mighty thruster, some hot airbag action and a while lot of a-whoopin' and a-hollerin'. The LDSD launched below an enormous …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    You would think that after two hundred years of parachutes

    NASA would know how to make them come out of the bag nicely?

    1. cray74

      Re: You would think that after two hundred years of parachutes

      Would the partial vacuum behind the broad disk cause a problem with 'chute deployment, acting like a giant "slider" on a normal skydiving 'chute?

  2. imanidiot Silver badge

    Packing chutes is not always easy

    Packing a regular chute is not THAT hard. Packing an emergency chute takes some added effort and care (they are folded differently from the "standard" and being the ONLY chute in the pack it better come out right the first time. And fast). I can imagine folding a giant hypersonic parachute is not an easy feat. One wrong loop in the risers and you're shit out of luck.

    My hats off to the NASA boys for pulling this off. I'm also impressed at how fast they manage to kill the stabilising rotation after the motor burn.

    Edited for Splelling

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Packing chutes is not always easy

      Oh, I agree. I pack my own (paragliding) reserve chute, and test it regularly.

      My comment was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I failed to identify a suitable icon. I am most impressed with the test (and the concept) but had to smile at NASAs comment that they weren't really testing the chute...

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Packing chutes is not always easy

      On the main engine burn video you can actually see the balloon cross the view at 29-30 seconds in. Considering the test vehicle has been moving away at close to mach 2 by that point thats a pretty impressively sized balloon!

      1. Martin Budden

        Re: Packing chutes is not always easy

        After release, the vehicle dropped for a while and at the same time the unfettered ballon zoomed upwards. Then once the engine fired the vehicle had to accelerate and climb to catch up with the still-rapidly-ascending balloon. It appears that the vehicle overtook the balloon at pretty close range.

  3. Tom 7 Silver badge

    That first video has a space invader in it

    dum dupe dum dupe dum dupe dum dupe

  4. kmac499

    In the control room video

    Is that Dave Akermans' silhouette in the dim bit of the control room at the back?

    Good to see Nasa called on the expert HABbers...

  5. Harry the Bastard

    no plucky playmonaut?

    nasa has a lot to learn from el reg

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