09:22 GMT +320 October 2019
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    An undated artist's concept shows the test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), designed to test landing technologies for future Mars missions

    NASA Parachute Fails to Inflate During Mars Mission Prep Test

    © REUTERS / NASA
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    A test of NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), designed to slow spacecraft for future human landings on Mars, ended with a parachute malfunction.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – NASA completed the second LDSD flight test on Monday with its saucer-shaped craft splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

    "Two experimental decelerator technologies – a supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator [inflatable cushion] and a supersonic parachute – were tested. The supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator deployed and inflated. The supersonic parachute also deployed; however, it did not perform as expected," NASA said in a Monday blog post on its official website.

    Meanwhile NASA’s Twitter post released after the test said that the parachute "did not inflate."

    Data from the test will be used to improve the technology, NASA said on its website, adding that it will organize a conference to review the test on Tuesday.

    NASA’s first LDSD flight test, conducted last year, ended with a parachute malfunction as well.

    NASA’s LDSD technology is crucial for future human missions to the Red Planet as it aims to enable the landing of heavier payloads on Mars. Current NASA technologies limit Mars payloads to about a ton, which is not enough to deliver the equipment required for a human mission.

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    Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), NASA
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