You would think that after two hundred years of parachutes
NASA would know how to make them come out of the bag nicely?
NASA has released some entertaining short video clips from last Saturday's test of the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), showing how the future Mars payload delivery tech flight featured a mighty thruster, some hot airbag action and a while lot of a-whoopin' and a-hollerin'. The LDSD launched below an enormous …
Packing a regular chute is not THAT hard. Packing an emergency chute takes some added effort and care (they are folded differently from the "standard" and being the ONLY chute in the pack it better come out right the first time. And fast). I can imagine folding a giant hypersonic parachute is not an easy feat. One wrong loop in the risers and you're shit out of luck.
My hats off to the NASA boys for pulling this off. I'm also impressed at how fast they manage to kill the stabilising rotation after the motor burn.
Edited for Splelling
Oh, I agree. I pack my own (paragliding) reserve chute, and test it regularly.
My comment was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I failed to identify a suitable icon. I am most impressed with the test (and the concept) but had to smile at NASAs comment that they weren't really testing the chute...
After release, the vehicle dropped for a while and at the same time the unfettered ballon zoomed upwards. Then once the engine fired the vehicle had to accelerate and climb to catch up with the still-rapidly-ascending balloon. It appears that the vehicle overtook the balloon at pretty close range.
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