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NASA releases footage of supersonic near-space flight

Published: Updated:

U.S. space agency NASA released on Friday a video detailing the testing of an interplanetary landing system designed to enable massive payloads on the surface of Mars.

As it is currently infeasible to conduct experiments on the red planet, to mimic the low-density atmosphere of Mars, NASA sent the saucer-like test vehicle high above the Earth.

The vehicle, called the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator, flew to 57,900 meters at more than four times the speed of sound and simulated Martian landing conditions.

“The vehicle did an amazing job of getting to the right speed and altitude,” said Ian Clark, principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Associated Press reported.

The experimental flight was intended as a dry run for two more tests scheduled for next year.