The Idea Of 'Flying Saucer' Is Not Dead Yet
NASA is looking forward to launch a 'flying saucer' into Earth's atmosphere once again to test Mars mission technology, according to reports.
The space agency is working with the Navy on Hawaiian island of Kauai to see if it can turn the experimental flight into a feasible option.
During the current two-week launch window, the team came "tantalizingly close," but winds spoiled every opportunity, said project manager Mark Adler of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, according to Durangoherald.
Scientists said winds must be calm for a helium balloon to carry the disc-shaped vehicle over the Pacific so it doesn't stray into no-fly zones.
"We're ready to go. We're not giving up," Adler said.
According to reports, the agency has invested $150 million in the project so far and if the flight doesn't happen this summer, it would be postponed until next year.
Up until now, NASA relies on the same parachute design to slow spacecraft streaking through that was used by the twin Viking landers in 1976.
Calling the weather delay "hardly even a hiccup" in the long road to landing spacecraft on Earth's planetary neighbor, project scientist Ian Clark said: "We're still very enthusiastic. We're still very optimistic about the opportunities that we think we'll have in front of us to do this test."