A possible future NASA mission to Mars received a kick-start with the announcement of a March 27, 2018 test of a supersonic parachute.

According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Ca, the payload carrying the parachute will reach an altitude of about 32 miles two minutes into the flight. After splash-down and recovery in the Atlantic Ocean, the payload will undergo data and video examination.

More specifically, the rocket carries the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE), produced from NASA’s JPL. Live coverage of the test is expected to begin at 9:15 AM on the Wallops Ustream site.

Support for the project is also provided by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

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