If You See What Appears To Be A Flying Saucer Overhead, Don’t Panic

(NewsGlobal.com)- If you see what appears to be a flying saucer coming toward Earth in November, it could just be a new NASA heat shield that heralds a successful arrival on Mars.

According to reports, a JPSS-2 polar-orbiting weather satellite will launch alongside the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The heat shield, shaped like a saucer, will expand, split, and then drop to Earth after the weather satellite enters orbit.

Although NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully used a parachute to land on Mars last year, it fell through the planet’s atmosphere at 12,000 miles per hour before being slowed to zero miles per hour before touching down. This achievement was only made possible by the payload’s modest weight.

According to NASA, the atmosphere of Mars is substantially less thick than the atmosphere of Earth and presents a significant obstacle to aerodynamic deceleration. The atmosphere is sufficiently thick to provide some drag, but it is also too thin for the spaceship to slow down as fast as it would in the atmosphere of Earth.

As it travels through the Martian atmosphere, LOFTID’s huge deployable aeroshell, an inflated structure shielded by a flexible heat shield, serves as a massive brake, according to NASA. The huge aeroshell generates higher drag than a conventional, smaller rigid aeroshell. The atmosphere slows it down in the upper reaches, allowing the spacecraft to accelerate faster and at a greater altitude with less severe heating.

According to NASA, the LOFTID re-entry vehicle will be the biggest blunt body aeroshell ever entering the atmosphere, measuring 19.7 feet in diameter.

NASA came to the conclusion that inflatable decelerator technology is scalable to both crewed and big robotic missions to Mars. After 2030, NASA intends to send mission crews to Mars’ surface.

NASA stated that exploring Mars strategically showcases political and economic leadership as a country. It enhances the standard of living on Earth, aids our understanding of our home planet, and increases US leadership in peaceful, international space exploration.

I have a list of politicians I’d like to send to Mars. How about you?