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Mars Exploration Program

Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD):
Mars Landing Tech News

June 1, 2015

NASA's LDSD project is designed to investigate and test breakthrough technologies for landing future robotic and human Mars missions, and safely returning large payloads to Earth. The test, performed over the Pacific Ocean, will simulate the supersonic entry and descent speeds at which the spacecraft would be traveling through the Martian atmosphere.

Mission overview briefing participants include:

U.S. Navy Capt. Bruce Hay, commanding officer, U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility
Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington
Mark Adler, LDSD project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California
Ian Clark, LDSD principal investigator at JPL

For more information about LDSD, visit Join the conversation online with hashtag #LDSD.

Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator

January 15, 2015
Speaker: Dr. Mark Adler, Project Manager & Dr. Ian Clark, Principal Investigator, JPL

As NASA plans ambitious new robotic missions to Mars, the spacecraft needed to land safely on the red planet's surface necessarily becomes increasingly massive, hauling larger payloads to accommodate extended stays on the Martian surface. The heavier planetary landers of tomorrow, however, will require much larger drag devices than any now in use to slow them down -- and those next-generation drag devices will need to be deployed at higher supersonic speeds to safely land vehicle, crew and cargo. NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) Technology Demonstration Mission, led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has conducted full-scale, stratospheric tests of these breakthrough technologies high above Earth to prove their value for future missions to Mars.