Video: See what it's like to ride on NASA's new rocket sled

It wasn't a Darwin Award alert, but serious science as NASA recently trialed a rocket sled in the California desert. Cameras were strapped on to the apparatus so we can feed our need for speed while NASA uses the sled to test the forces felt by supersonic spacecraft when landing.

The sled is part of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Project (LDSD), testing various inflatable and parachute decelerators that might be attached to spacecraft. It allows NASA to create varying levels of force, weight of payload and other factors as a way to hone how future spacecraft might perform.

By performing these tests NASA can create decelerators that could safely land a spacecraft in differing circumstances. According to NASA's website:

"These new devices represent the first steps on the technology pathway to land humans, habitats and return rockets safely on Mars or other destinations."

It is a little hard to get a perspective on how fast the sled is going in the video given that the desert scenery doesn't provide many landmarks to measure against. One look at the rocket firepower coming out the back though, and it's no doubt face numbingly fast.

Thanks for taking us along for the ride NASA!

NASA, via Ubergizmo

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