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NASA readies test for first Mars airplane

Sharon Gaudin | July 2, 2015
Winged craft would glide over Martian surface looking for potential landing sites for astronauts.

A third test flight is expected to involve a rocket carrying the craft to a much higher altitude.

"That mission could be to 450,000 feet...," Bowers said. "The aircraft would fall back into the Earth's atmosphere, and as it approaches the 110,000 to 115,000-foot altitude range, the glider would deploy just as though it was over the surface of Mars."


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