News Picks

Physics Today’s online staff summarize the most important and interesting news about science from the world's top media outlets.

There is a single post for the selected month (April 2015).
April 1, 2015 1:00 PM

NASA’s flying saucer passes first test

Los Angeles Times: Yesterday at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, NASA demonstrated the spinning capability of its Mars test vehicle. During the test, the 4.5-m-wide, 3200-kg saucer-shaped craft was spun up to 30 rpm to check its balance. The next test will come after the vehicle is shipped to Hawaii, where it will be hoisted to an altitude of 36 km by a giant balloon and then shot high into the stratosphere by a rocket. There, its two-step landing apparatus will be deployed: A large doughnut-shaped tube will inflate, and then a gigantic parachute will be released. Because the density of Earth's stratosphere is similar to that of Mars's atmosphere, it serves as a testing ground for new technologies.
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Scitation: News Picks - Blog