NASA will test its first (publicly acknowledged!) disc-shaped spacecraft this week. There won't be any blast-off either, at least not near earth: in a scene that is part Asimov, part Marx Brothers, the space ship will be lifted into the air via a giant balloon! The balloon will lift the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) to 120,000 feet. Then the LDSD will leave its balloon companion behind and fire its rocket accelerators over Hawaii.
You can watch it here. The weather-ruled test window, according to the NASA release is "June 2 to June 12, and extends each day from approximately 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT." Flying saucers -- the most famous form of UFO -- have been allegedly sighted since long before man took flight. The term gained popularity after American aviator Kenneth Arnold reported seeing one in 1947, an episode that captivated the media. To learn more about the history of flying saucers and their powerful place in the human psyche, check out: Flying Saucers : A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies from 1979. To see a real one this week, check out this.
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