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NASA To Continue Parachute Tests For Orion Capsule In Yuma

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 5:10am
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NASA will conduct its latest test of parachutes for its Orion spacecraft at the Yuma Proving Ground on Wednesday.

This particular exercise is designed to experiment with a landing contingency scenario.   

Chip McCann, systems engineering and integration lead for NASA, said the Orion mock capsule will be dropped from a C-17 aircraft flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet.

“The condition that we’re testing this time is a contingency scenario" he said. "Normally we would land on three main parachutes, but in this test we’re going to test the scenario where if one of those main parachutes didn’t work, can the system still operate properly when we only have two main parachutes at the end?”     

The two-chute test is for the final qualifying design of Orion to determine how the space capsule will react at higher elevations without using a full complement of chutes and also how astronauts will be affected by a potentially stronger landing.