by Staff Writers
China Lake CA (JPL) Apr 02, 2012
NASA recently performed a trial run on a rocket sled test fixture, powered by rockets, to replicate the forces a supersonic spacecraft would experience prior to landing.
The sled tests will allow the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Project, or LDSD, to test inflatable and parachute decelerators to slow spacecraft prior to landing and allow NASA to increase landed payload masses, improve landing accuracy and increase the altitude of safe landing-sites.
These new devices represent the first steps on the technology pathway to land humans, habitats and return rockets safely on Mars or other destinations.
This test series is led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and conducted at the U.S. Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, Calif.
LDSD is one of nine missions managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center's Technology Demonstration Missions Program for NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist in Washington.
View the test video here
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com
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Russia to Build Nuclear Space Engine by 2017
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Apr 02, 2012
A Russian Megawatt-class nuclear propulsion system for long-range manned spacecraft must be ready by 2017, Skolkovo Foundation's Nuclear Cluster head Denis Kovalevich said on Wednesday. "At present we are testing several types of fuel and later we will start drafting the design," Kovalevich said. "The first parts [of the nuclear engine] should be built in 2013, and the engine is expected t ... read more
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