This image, taken by a member of NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator team onboard a recovery vessel, shows the initial moments of the June 28, 2014, powered flight of the saucer-shaped test vehicle. In the image, the test vehicle is unseen at the tip of the slash-like contrail at the upper left. Just to the right of the contrail, and about a third of the way up, is the balloon that carried the saucer to 120,000 feet (about 36,000 meters) above the waters of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range.
NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate funds the LDSD mission, a cooperative effort led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. NASA's Technology Demonstration Mission program manages LDSD at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, coordinated support with the Pacific Missile Range Facility and provided the balloon systems for the LDSD test.
For more information about the LDSD space technology demonstration mission: http://go.usa.gov/kzZQz.