back to article US MARTIAN FLYING SAUCER tests above Hawaii: postponed

Today's planned launch of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) has been cancelled, meaning that ballocket fans have once again been denied the thrill of seeing a mighty 963,000m3 helium-filled orb lift a rocket-powered flying saucer into the upper atmosphere. NASA had its LDSD all prepped and ready to roll yesterday, …


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  1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    Is it just my imagination?

    Or does that thing look like the worlds largest and most high tech jet propelled custard pie?

    Given my handle around here I have a vested interest in such matters ;)

  2. Beachrider

    Martian landings...

    NASA is trying to get a more-general capability for Mars landings, particularly with heavier payloads and higher martian-altitude landing sites.

    Using rockets all the way down would require a substantial fuel supply for those long burns, there is enough atmosphere on Mars to cause the burns to start early and run for a long time.

    Using parachutes all the way down leaves a lot of energy to be dissipated by short-burn rockets or rockets+bags. This is acute for higher-altitude landings and/or massive probe landings.

    Both Viking and MSL were just under 1 ton. With larger loads, this kind of hybrid air-friction tool saves precious weight on fuel and large landing rockets. It will be cool on probes anticipated for 2020 and beyond.

  3. Stevie Silver badge


    Wot, no Playmonaut?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Bah!

      Disappointing, I know.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        Given the scale, I'd think Gort from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" would perhaps be more appropriate.

        I mean of course the superb original version, not the dismal remake...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could be worse

    I recall a certain large blimpy object going on the run because the guy ropes snapped taking £30,000 worth of helium with it a while ago.

    1. TheFatMan

      Re: Could be worse

      "large blimpy object going on the run "

      Kim Dotcom?

      1. Kharkov

        Re: Could be worse

        Too mean, sir, too mean. (We need a finger-wagging icon)

        Funny though...

  5. Jan 0 Silver badge

    "Carrying an unmanned Orion spacecraft"

    Errm, just how many atomic bombs will that be carrying? !!!

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