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NASA: Parachutes Pass Drop Test, Will be Installed In Orion Spacecraft

The parachute system were "deployed as planned after being dropped from an altitude of 6.6 miles [10.6 kilometers) on July 12, at the US Army Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona", NASA said in a statement.

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NASA to use Blockchain technology for air traffic management. Pixabay

The parachutes for NASA’s next crew vehicle, the Orion capsule, intended to carry humans to deep space, has successfully passed a drop test, the US space agency said.

Orion’s full parachute system includes 11 parachutes three forward-bay cover parachutes, two drogue parachutes, three pilot parachutes, and three main parachutes.

These are designed to reduce the capsule’s speed during its descent back to Earth, supporting a safe landing in the ocean.

The parachute system were “deployed as planned after being dropped from an altitude of 6.6 miles [10.6 kilometers) on July 12, at the US Army Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona”, NASA said in a statement.

Data from, the seventh of eight total tests, “will help NASA engineers certify Orion’s parachutes for missions with astronauts” to moon and Mars.

The test evaluated parachute deployment under conditions that exceeded the requirements for a system carrying crew.

NASA
The test evaluated parachute deployment under conditions that exceeded the requirements for a system carrying crew. Pixabay

Engineers dropped the dart-shaped test article from an altitude that allowed it to generate enough speed to simulate almost twice as much force on the main chutes as would be expected under normal conditions.

Each of Orion’s three main parachutes expands to 116 feet in diameter and contains enough fabric to cover 80 yards of a football field, but is carried aboard Orion in containers the size of a large suitcase.

For storage, the parachutes are compacted with hydraulic presses at forces of up to 80,000 pounds, baked for two days and vacuumed sealed.

Once packed, they have a density of about 40 pounds per cubic foot, which is roughly the same as wood from an oak tree.

Also Read- Nasa Developing Technology to Protect from Space Radiation to reach Mars Safely

The last test in the series, scheduled for September, will use a capsule-shaped test article representative of the spacecraft NASA will use on Orion’s upcoming missions (IANS)

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Spacecraft Test Runs into Serious Problems, Smoke All Over SpaceX in Florida

"Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting (issues) like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test"

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Federal oversight authorities warned NASA last year that more delays could leave US astronauts stranded if the new capsules were not ready to fly in 2019. Pixabay

Thick plumes of smoke rose over a SpaceX facility in Florida during a test fire of a Crew Dragon spacecraft and the issue was serious, it could derail plans to fly astronauts aboard the capsule later this year, the media reported.

SpaceX, which was founded by billionaire businessman Elon Musk in 2002, said the craft was undergoing a “series of engine tests” at a facility in Cape Canaveral on Saturday, and something went wrong during the final stretch, CNN reported.

SpaceX will work with NASA to determine what caused the issue. No injuries were reported.

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The US has not had the technology to fly humans to orbit since the space shuttle programme ended in 2011. Meanwhile, NASA has paid Russia about $80 million per seat to send astronauts to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz capsules. Pixabay

“Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting (issues) like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test,” SpaceX said in a statement.

Crew Dragon is already overdue and more delays could make things tricky for NASA.

It was scheduled to conduct a key test of its emergency abort system in June. And its first crewed mission, which will carry astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, was slated for July, though NASA recently said that timeline was under review.

space craft
Federal oversight authorities warned NASA last year that more delays could leave US astronauts stranded if the new capsules were not ready to fly in 2019. Pixabay

The US has not had the technology to fly humans to orbit since the space shuttle programme ended in 2011. Meanwhile, NASA has paid Russia about $80 million per seat to send astronauts to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz capsules.

NASA has also decided to ask the private sector to design and build a new generation of spacecrafts.

Also Read: Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

SpaceX and Boeing, which is building a vehicle called Starliner, were awarded contracts worth up to $2.6 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively, in 2014. Both capsules were supposed to start flying in 2017, but they have been hampered with delays.

Federal oversight authorities warned NASA last year that more delays could leave US astronauts stranded if the new capsules were not ready to fly in 2019. (IANS)