The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in March 2018 successfully conducted the test of the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) of the Mars landing parachute for possible future missions.
The parachute was launched on the Black Brant IX sounding rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The test was aimed at knowing all the conditions that a spacecraft would experience during the entry, descent and landing (EDL) on the Red Planet.
This was the second flight test of ASPIRE. The first one took place in October 2017 that too on the Terrier-Black Brant IX sounding rocket.
Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE)
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA in Pasadena, California manages the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment.
It is also administered by NASA's Langley Research Centre in Hampton, Virginia and Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California.
NASA's Sounding Rocket Program
• NASA's Sounding Rocket Program is based at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
• The Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia provides the mission planning, engineering services and field operations through the NASA Sounding Rocket Operations Contract.
• The program is managed by NASA's Heliophysics Division in Washington.