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The test of a new parachute system for Mars landing has been delayed until the end of June due to high winds.
The space agency was forced to scrub six launch attempts over the past two weeks — the latest and last planned for this Saturday (June 14) — as a result of unusually poor wind conditions at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range facility in Kauai, Hawaii. The balloon-launched Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) craft is intended to help NASA develop the means to land heavier spacecraft, and eventually humans, on Mars.
“All of the vehicle systems [and] our team were ready and prepared for all of the launch days; we were ready to go,” said Mark Adler, LDSD project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. “The only thing that held us up was that none of the launch dates had or will have acceptable weather conditions.”
They have literally run out of their available time at the range, and must let others play through first while they renegotiate for a new slot of time later.