1. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

    NASA to Test Mars-Bound Flying Saucer

    NASA

    Does it come with a five-note music pattern? NASA is gearing up to launch a test session in Hawaii for a “flying saucer” that could be sent to Mars. The session has been delayed a number of times due to unfavorable weather conditions, but is tentatively planned for Saturday. The disc-shaped vehicle, named the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, comes with a giant parachute, made with the same design used by NASA since the 1970s to slow down rovers’ descents into Mars’s thin atmosphere. NASA plans to start sending much heavier rovers and landers (and, eventually, astronauts) to Mars, making sturdier parachutes a necessity.

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