Dear followers and readers,
today (Wednesday June 25th), NASA will perform tests of the parachute system of the new spacecraft called Orion. A test version of Orion is loaded onto a C-17 for a previous test of its parachute system. The test on Wednesday will be the most complex test the system will go through. Watch the test live in a Google+ hangout at 10:30 EDT. So join us there for the live and post your feedback about this impressive test !!!
Credit image: NASA
Of the 17 parachute drops planned for the developmental test series for the system, this is the 14th and the most complex. A test version of Orion will be pushed out of a C-17 aircraft 11km above the desert of the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. Only two previous tests have been conducted from such a high altitude, and this one will up the ante further by waiting through 10 seconds of free fall before Orion’s parachutes are deployed.
Those 10 seconds will let Orion build up more speed and aerodynamic pressure before the first of the parachutes is released, to put the maximum amount of stress on them. But even if the test version of the capsule doesn’t land softly on the desert floor, it will give engineers important data that will help them improve the design of the system that will help slow Orion when it bring crew back from destinations and reenters Earth’s atmosphere.