NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION LOW DENSITY SUPERSONIC DECELERATOR TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION MISSION

PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY - ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

WELCOME TO THE WEBSITE FOR THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA) LOW DENSITY SUPERSONIC DECELERATOR (LDSD) TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION MISSION LOCATED AT THE PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY (PMRF)

This website has been established to provide you with a source for information about the preparation of the Environmental Assessment (EA).

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2451(d) (1) (5)) establishes a mandate to conduct activities in space that contribute substantially to “[t]he expansion of human knowledge of the Earth and of phenomena in the atmosphere and space,” and “[t]he preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere.” In response to this mandate, NASA, in coordination with the National Academy of Sciences, has developed a prioritized set of science objectives to be met through a long-range program of spacecraft missions.

As part of a prioritized set of science programs, NASA is currently undertaking a long term Mars Exploration Program (MEP). The MEP is fundamentally a science-driven program that focuses on understanding and characterizing Mars as a dynamic system and ultimately addressing whether life is, or was, a part of that system through a strategy referred to as “follow the water.” The MEP is also responsible for the development and demonstration of the technologies required to attain these goals. For more information, visit the NASA Project site at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/ldsd/.

The NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) is responsible for direct management of NASA’s space technology programs and for coordination and tracking of all technology investments across the agency. NASA's Space Technology Initiative, managed by the STMD, develops and demonstrates advanced space systems concepts and technologies enabling new approaches to achieving NASA's current and future missions. The STMD and the Space Technology Initiative complement the technology development activities within NASA's Mission Directorates, and deliver forward-reaching technology solutions for future NASA science and exploration missions and significant national needs.

The Proposed Action presented in this EA is a Supersonic Flight Dynamics Test (SFDT) campaign to be conducted at PMRF as a part of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory LDSD project. This proposed test campaign would consist of launch, operation, and recovery of up to four missions from a designated location on PMRF. The purpose of the SFDT campaign is to demonstrate and evaluate development of new supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (SIAD) and SSRS parachute technologies. These tests would allow the SIAD and SSRS parachute to fly in the Earth’s stratosphere at supersonic speed to simulate operation in the thin atmosphere of Mars. The Test Vehicle with a small solid rocket motor would be launched on a high altitude balloon from PMRF.

The Environmental Assessment:

The Final Environmental Assessment and the signed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are available on this project website. Public comments on the Draft EA were accepted through April 19, 2013. Questions regarding these documents or request for additional copies should be addressed to: Jonathan Stabb, LDSD Project NEPA lead, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Attention: Jonathan Stabb, 4800 Oak Grove Drive – M/S 301-370, Pasadena, CA 91109, by email jonathan.stabb@jpl.nasa.gov,or by calling 818-393-4691

The Final EA and signed FONSI are also available at the following locations:

  • Hawaii State Library
    Hawaii and Pacific Section Document Unit
    478 South King Street
    Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96813-2994

  • Lihue Public Library
    4344 Hardy Street
    Lihue, Kauai, HI 96766

  • Waimea Public Library
    9750 Kaumualii Highway
    Waimea, Kauai, HI 96796