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June 24, 2014
MEDIA ADVISORY M14-111
NASA Sets New Dates, Media Coverage for Saucer-Shaped Test Vehicle Flight

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NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project plans to fly its rocket-powered, saucer-shaped landing technology test vehicle into near-space from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii later this week.

NASA has identified five potential launch dates for the high-altitude balloon carrying the LDSD experiment: June 28, 29, 30, July 1 and 3. The launch window for Saturday, June 28 extends from 8:15--9:30 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (2:15-3:30 p.m. EDT).

The test will be carried live via UStream and simulcast on NASA Television.

The vehicle originally was scheduled for its first test flight earlier in June, but unacceptable weather conditions prevented the launch.

On launch attempt days, journalists are invited to PMRF to watch the liftoff and flight. Journalists who did not previously acquire base clearance but would like to attend the event must arrange access in advance by contacting the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility PAO, Stefan Alford, at 808-482-0036 or stefan.alford@navy.mil by 11 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time on Thursday, June 26. Valid media credentials are required.

Reporters who have previously received access clearance from the U.S. Navy for the LDSD launch also are invited to return, but must contact Alford by 11 a.m. on Friday, June 27, to have their access to the facility reactivated.

Reporters must arrive at the PMRF main gate, each balloon launch attempt day, no later than 7 a.m. for escort onto the base.  Journalists should follow the LDSD mission website for daily launch window dates and times. Reporters will be escorted off the base following the balloon launch.

Decisions to attempt launch of the LDSD test will be made the day before each launch opportunity date. NASA will issue launch advisories via the mission website, media advisories and on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/NASA_Technology

and

https://twitter.com/NASA

NASA will stream live video of the test via UStream at:

http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2

The video may be intermittent based on test activities. Reporters should consult the LDSD website for real-time updates of the test. NASA plans on providing edited supporting video of the test the day after flight.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

After the balloon reaches an altitude of 120,000 feet, the rocket-powered test vehicle will be dropped. Seconds later, its motor will fire, carrying it to 180,000 feet and as fast as about Mach 3.8. LDSD carries several onboard cameras.

More information about the LDSD space technology demonstration mission is online at:

http://go.usa.gov/kzZQ

NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate funds the LDSD mission, a cooperative effort led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages LDSD within the Technology Demonstration Mission Program Office. NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, is coordinating support with the Pacific Missile Range Facility and providing the balloon systems for the LDSD test.

For more information about the Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

-end-

David Steitz
Headquarters, Washington
202-236-5829 or 202-358-1730
david.steitz@nasa.gov

DC Agle
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-393-9011
agle@jpl.nasa.gov

Shannon Ridinger
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
256-544-3774 or 256-541-7698
shannon.j.rindinger@nasa.gov

Stefan Alford
Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii
808-335-4740
stefan.alford@navy.mil


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A saucer-shaped test vehicle holding equipment for landing large payloads on Mars is shown in the Missile Assembly Building at the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kaua‘i, Hawaii.  The vehicle, part of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator project, will test an inflatable decelerator and a parachute at high altitudes and speeds over the Pacific Missile Range this June.
A saucer-shaped test vehicle holding equipment for landing large payloads on Mars is shown in the Missile Assembly Building at the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kaua‘i, Hawaii. The vehicle, part of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator project, will test an inflatable decelerator and a parachute at high altitudes and speeds over the Pacific Missile Range this June. A balloon will lift the vehicle to high altitudes, where a rocket will take it even higher to the top of the stratosphere at several times the speed of sound. This image was taken during a "hang-angle" measurement, in which engineers set the vehicle's rocket motor to the appropriate angle for the high-altitude test. The nozzle and the lower half of the Star-48 solid rocket motor are the dark objects seen in the middle of the image below the saucer.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Page Last Updated: June 25th, 2014
Page Editor: Allard Beutel