from newsmax.com: NASA is getting ready to launch a "flying saucer" into Earth's atmosphere to test technology that could be used to land on Mars. For decades, NASA has depended on the same parachute design to slow
spacecraft after they enter the Martian atmosphere. But it needs a
larger and stronger parachute if it wants to land heavier objects and
astronauts. On Wednesday, weather permitting, a balloon carrying the
saucer-shaped vehicle is set to launch from Hawaii. Then the vehicle
will ignite its rocket engine and climb to 34 miles. It will inflate a
tube to slow itself down from supersonic speeds and unfurl a parachute
for a water landing.