by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) Jan 28, 2016
Four red-and-white parachutes unfurled high above the desert near Coolidge, Arizona, recently during a test of the system that initially will be used to safely land SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying astronauts back from the International Space Station.
The test used a mass simulator as the weight of the spacecraft connected to the parachute system. The mass simulator and parachutes were released thousands of feet above the ground from a C-130 cargo aircraft.
This test evaluated the four main parachutes, but did not include the smaller pilot and drogue chutes that a full landing system would utilize.
As part of its final development and certification work with NASA's Commercial Crew Program, SpaceX continues to perform tests of flight-like hardware that allows engineers to assess the reliability. Later tests will grow progressively more realistic to simulate as much of the actual conditions and processes the system will see during an operational mission.
Initially, the spacecraft will splash down safely in the ocean under parachutes, but ultimately the company wants to land the vehicle on land propulsively using eight SuperDraco engines. SpaceX tested its propulsive land landing ability in Texas in November.
SpaceX and Boeing are working in separate partnerships with NASA to build a new generation of human-rated spacecraft to take astronauts to the International Space Station.
Commercial Crew Blog at NASA
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|