NASA Conducts Successful Parachute Development Test
Jumbo dart used as part of the Ares I parachute test is being load into back of a U.S. Air Force C17.

The jumbo dart used as part of the Ares I parachute test is loaded into the back of a U.S. Air Force C-17. Image credit: NASA

On April 14, NASA conducted a drogue parachute drop test at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground near Yuma, Ariz. The 68-foot-diameter drogue and all test hardware functioned properly and landed safely.

The design load limit test will provide engineers with a better understanding of the full structural capabilities of the drogue parachute, currently under development to return next-generation space vehicles safely to Earth.

This was the second in a series of three planned load limit tests designed to place the loads expected in flight on the parachute canopy. The next test series, called overload tests, will subject the parachute canopy to loads greater than what would typically be experienced in flight, to prove the parachute is strong enough to survive some degree of unexpected events.

Future full resolution images of the drogue parachute test will be made publicly available when they are fully processed:


When video from the test becomes available, it will air on NASA Television's Video File. For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit:


Media Contact:
Jennifer Morcone Stanfield, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.