Nasa's UFO like 'flying saucer' soars into stratosphere

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A saucer-shaped Nasa test vehicle was launched by balloon on Saturday high into Earth’s atmosphere as part of a trial of technology that could be used to land on Mars.
Since the twin Viking spacecraft landed on the red planet in 1976, Nasa has relied on the same parachute design to slow landers and rovers after piercing the thin Martian atmosphere.
The $150 million experimental flight tested a novel vehicle and a giant parachute designed to deliver heavier spacecraft and eventually astronauts.
The saucer later splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
Despite small problems, such as the giant parachute not deploying fully, Nasa deemed the mission a success.
Viewers around the world with an Internet connection followed parts of the mission in real time, thanks to cameras on board the vehicle that beamed back low-resolution footage.
After taking off at 11:40am from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, the balloon boosted the disc-shaped vehicle over the Pacific.
The environment that high up is similar to the thin Martian atmosphere.
Source: APTN

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