NASA crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid last month in the hopes of one day defending the Earth from the Armageddon scenario.
The space agency is preparing to launch a massive flying saucer next month, but it won't be to defend the world from extraterrestrial invasion.
Continue reading to learn more about the launch's motivations, operation, and potential impact on space exploration.
The Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID), a massive disc that will enter low earth orbit, inflate, and then return to earth,
will be launched by NASA on November 1. It is a heat shield designed to slow down a spaceship so that it can survive entry into the atmosphere of another planet.
On planets with atmospheres like Mars, it is difficult to land a spaceship that is as hefty as one that must carry humans. An airplane is slowed down by the planet's atmosphere's density of air.