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NASA Hopes to Launch 'Flying Saucer' after Delay

Updated: 06/12/2014 6:29 PM
Created: 06/11/2014 9:50 AM WDIO.com

LOS ANGELES (AP) - NASA hopes to try again to launch a "flying saucer" into Earth's atmosphere to test Mars mission technology after losing the chance because of bad weather.

The space agency is working with the U.S. Navy on the Hawaiian island of Kauai to see if it can get the experimental flight off the ground in late June.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory project manager Mark Adler says winds spoiled every launch opportunity. Winds must be calm for a helium balloon to carry the disc-shaped vehicle over the Pacific so it doesn't stray into no-fly zones.

NASA has invested $150 million in the project so far, and extending the launch window would come with some cost. If the flight doesn't happen this summer, it would be postponed until next year.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

A saucer-shaped test vehicle holding equipment for landing large payloads on Mars is shown in the Missile Assembly Building at the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kaua'i, Hawaii.
NASA Photo/JPL-Caltech

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