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June 1-7, 2015 / Vol 34, No 22 / Hawai`i Island, USA

29 May 2015, 20:06 UTC
June 1-7, 2015 / Vol 34, No 22 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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Hawai`i Hosts LDSD Mars Technology and HI-SEAS Human Analog Testing

The second Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test will be conducted off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii from the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility with a launch window beginning 07:30 HST on June 2. The JPL / NASA project will boost a saucer-shaped vehicle up to 55,000-meter altitude using an Orbital ATK Star-48 solid rocket motor and helium-filled balloon (consisting of 22 acres of plastic) to test a supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (SIAD) and an advanced parachute. All elements will then be recovered from the Pacific Ocean by Oahu-owned and operated commercial freight vessels. These technologies have the potential to help increase the surface payload delivery capacity up to 1,500 kg, increase accessible surface area for exploration and improve landing accuracy from 10.5 km to ~1.6 km for human and robotic Mars missions, as well as large payloads returning to Earth. On Hawaii Island the 3rd Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Mission run by University of Hawaii is nearing an end on Mauna Loa at 2,438-meter altitude. The 6-member crew (Commander Martha Lenio, Allen Mirkadyrov, Sophie Milam, Neil Scheibelhut, Jocelyn Dunn, Zak Wilson) living in a 2-story, 384-cubic ...

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