On June 28th, 2014, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory launched the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) for the first time in Kauai, Hawaii. The LDSD aims to utilize atmospheric drag in order to conserve rocket engines and fuel for final procedures and landing maneuvers. For future planetary devices, much larger drag devices will be necessary to slow them down-and due to the resounding success accompanying the LDSD launch in Hawaii, they will soon be a reality. In fact, these devices could be used in Mars missions as early as 2020.
C.R. International Inc. was fortunate to have the opportunity to provide the hardware for this groundbreaking piece of technology, and we consider its colossal success one of our greatest achievements. Below is a copy of a message sent to us from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory containing more information on the launch, as well as video coverage. (More video coverage can be found here, and a more in depth explanation of the device and its future applications can be found here and here).
Just wanted to pass on a word on congratulations.
The first of three test flights was completed this past Saturday.
The mission was a resounding success!
The boards CRI populated were responsible for actuating pyrotechnics on the vehicle and they performed flawlessly.
Public information on the flight can be found here: http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/ldsd/test-flight-successful-20140629/#.U7Mr5vldWAg
There is Hawaiian news coverage of the purpose of the test flight here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG7Z0NOi6WU
There are several videos on YouTube which show the balloon launch and subsequent vehicle flight if you’d like to peruse those by searching LDSD.
Thanks for all of your support and for providing excellent hardware. The next two test flights are scheduled for next summer.
When man lands on Mars, know that you were part of it!
(cover image belongs to NASA)