NASA's LDSD test flight has been repeatedly postponed and ended in failure. NASA wanted to test its Low Density Supersonic Develerator, a stabilization and slowdown system dedicated to probes or equipment that will be sent to distant planets in the future.
To do this, the system relies on a parachute 30 meters in diameter, the largest in the world, reinforced to allow a probe launched to pass more than Mach 2 up to a subsonic speed.
Finally, the parachute deployed well, but it tore almost immediately, thus precipitating the capsule into the ocean. The saucer was damaged during the crash, but the black boxes and other data will soon be studied to improve the device.
It was a sounding balloon which brought the capsule to 37 km in height before a rocket took over to bring it to 55 km in altitude. From there, the saucer began a free fall towards the ocean, reaching a speed greater than four times the speed of sound (4651 km / h). The saucer then deployed inflatable stabilizers (SIAD) to slow its race to Mach 2.5, it was only then that the parachute deployed with the issue that we now know.
NASA should conduct its next tests in the summer of 2016, the first mission using this technology would not be scheduled before 2030.