back to article NASA shock: Flying saucer predicted over Hawaii on Wednesday

On Wednesday, inhabitants of the Hawaiian island of Kauai will see a flying saucer rise up into the air, fire its rocket motors, and head into space – as NASA tests its Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD). The LDSD is a circular spacecraft resembling the UFOs of old. It is 15ft (4.5m) across and weighs 6,808 pounds (3, …

  1. Gene Cash Silver badge

    NASA thinks it has cracked that problem

    Wow, I'm gobsmacked at NASA actually completing a job in the face of a problem, instead of throwing its hands in the air and giving up!

    Wish that could have happened for X-33, FASTRAC, X-37 (the one the USAF fished out of NASA's trash...) and a bunch of others.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NASA thinks it has cracked that problem

      NASA gives up on something and you complain. NASA doesn't give up, solves a problem, and you complain. Personally I applaud everyone at NASA for trying to figure out ways to get a human to Mars. I hope they succeed in their endeavor

    2. John Sanders

      Re: NASA thinks it has cracked that problem

      I'm more impressed than you, I thought that under the Obama administration NASA's top priorities were "reaching out to the Muslim world" and not doing space-exploration related things.

    3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: NASA thinks it has cracked that problem

      Competition improves the breed. They fear LOHAN!

  2. Mage Silver badge

    NASA giving up?

    Usually crippled by a mix of bureaucracy, approved pork barrel vendors and lack of budget.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Playmonauts are go.

    "It is 15ft (4.5m) across and weighs 6,808 pounds (3,088kg)"

    That's a whole lot of playmobile. Who says nasa doesn't think big anymore? The LDSD will contain playmobil, right?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOHAN on steroids

    Bigger balloon, bigger rocket - heck it's almost as if they have a bigger budget! (and they get a Hawaiian holiday out of it as well...)

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: LOHAN on steroids

      And of course don't have the FAA dicking them about and delaying everything...

  5. bill 27

    Nice place...wouldn't want to leave myself.

    Been to Kauai. The "Pacific Missile Range Facility" has a really nice beach to the north of it. It's where my wife, from Colorado, discovered the error of turning your back to the surf.

  6. Kharkov

    Yes, but can you explain it to a politician?

    Idiot Politician: So you're going to use a rocket to make it go really fast?

    NASA Rep: Yes, that's right.

    Idiot Politician: And then hope it slows down, as slow as possible, right?

    NASA Rep: Yes, that's right.

    Idiot Politician: I have a brilliant idea! You want to get to a low speed so skip Step One, and, hey presto! it's at the right speed! And I've saved money too!

    NASA Rep: Now hang on...

    Idiot Politician: This session is adjourned! Now, where's that intern? Oh, bugger, the mikes still on. Billy! How do you turn this


  7. Alan J. Wylie

    As foretold by Arthur C Clarke

    in his novel / film "2010" (though that was Jupiter, not Mars, and it was aerocapture, not aerobraking, but the principle's the same).

  8. Yag

    Relax, it's going to Mars, not to your leaders

    Why not both?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Relax, it's going to Mars, not to your leaders

      Let's modify that a bit... Let's send our leaders to Mars.

    2. cray74

      Re: Relax, it's going to Mars, not to your leaders

      Heh. I entered comments just to say, "Why not go to Mars after picking up our leaders?"

  9. Anonymous Custard Silver badge


    Personally I still think it looks like a massive custard pie...

  10. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

    Launch postponed again

    Launch window now opens Thursday at 7:30 a.m. HST

    (1:30 p.m. EDT / 16:30pm BST)

    Wave heights still a concern for recovery team.

  11. BobRocket


    Those darned USians steal El Reg's idea of a ballocket but won't let LOHAN launch because they don't want to be shown up by theirs not working and LOHAN performing flawlessly.

    Just drive out into the desert and launch it, I doubt anybody of importance (or officious busybody in normalspeak) will notice it and even if they do you can have scarpered before they turn up.

    In the words of Pontius Pilate

    Welease the Wocket !

    1. Dan Paul

      Re: Typical (Not really!)


      The balloon rocket idea is quite a bit older as I understand. I believe the same principle has been used for weather observations.

      I wouldn't suggest that anyone from El Reg launch LOHAN without legal FAA permission as it will light up the radar like Times Square. They'd have to be able to outrun the military jets that would be "scrambled" to find out what happened. The old adage "It is better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission" does not apply to Federal Airspace regulations.

      And I think you mean "Elmer Phud", not Pontius Pilate.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: Typical (Not really!)

        And I think you mean "Elmer Phud", not Pontius Pilate.

        Nah, Bob's on the money - just ask his mate Biggus Dickus.

        For a wascally wabbit, you need a shotgun, not a wocket. We save those for chasing Woadwunners.

  12. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

    Trying again Friday


    I have a better idea.

    Could it be diverted to the Congress instead? As in the Alien attack scene from the movie "Mars Attacks"? Please?

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