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balloon launched decelerator test program: post-test test reportBalloon Launched Decelerator Test (BLDT) flights were conducted during the summer of 1972 over the White Sands Missile Range. The purpose of these tests was to qualify the Viking disk-gap band parachute system behind a full-scale simulator of the Viking Entry Vehicle over the maximum range of entry conditions anticipated in the Viking '75 soft landing on Mars. Test concerns centered on the ability of a minimum weight parachute system to operate without structural damage in the turbulent wake of the blunt-body entry vehicle (140 deg, 11.5 diameter cone). This is the first known instance of parachute operation at supersonic speeds in the wake of such a large blunt body. The flight tests utilized the largest successful balloon-payload weight combination known to get to high altitude (120kft) where rocket engines were employed to boost the test vehicle to supersonic speeds and dynamic pressures simulating the range of conditions on Mars.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Dickinson, D.
(Martin Marietta Corp. Denver, CO, United States)
Schlemmer, J.
(Martin Marietta Corp. Denver, CO, United States)
Hicks, F.
(Martin Marietta Corp. Denver, CO, United States)
Michel, F.
(Martin Marietta Corp. Denver, CO, United States)
Moog, R. D.
(Martin Marietta Corp. Denver, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
September 2, 2013
Publication Date
September 11, 1972
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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NameType 19730004294.pdf STI