NASA announced Wednesday that it will hold the second test for a spacecraft capable of traveling at supersonic speeds next week.
The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD)'s launch will take place no earlier than 10:30 a.m. PDT (1:30 p.m. EDT) on Tuesday, June 2, at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA previously moved the launch window one hour earlier to make sure the spacecraft will launch on time and be able to deal with weather conditions at the time.
The goal for the space agency will be to test technology designed for future missions involving sending humans and robots to Mars, as well as technology created to make sure large payloads return to Earth safely.
NASA said the spacecraft will only need a limited supply of fuel for when it lands, adding that it is working on three different supersonic vehicles for the launch, Discovery Channel reported. These vessels include two inflatable aerodynamic decelerators that will inflate around the vehicle to slow it down from Mach 3.5 to Mach 2 or lower, and one "30.5-meter-diameter parachute" that will slow the vehicle down even further to subsonic speeds.
"All three devices will be the largest of their kind ever flown at speeds several times greater than the speed of sound," the agency said in a statement.
NASA will stream the launch live on NASA TV starting at 1 p.m. EDT so space enthusiasts can watch the launch as it takes place.