Boeing has united SpaceX in testing out parachutes for coming space explorations, which could launch before too long. Various parachute trials have been done already, with more arranged prior the program concludes this upcoming fall.
SpaceX and Boeing both obtained funding from the NASA Commercial Crew Program last 2014. Test flights could take place as the latter part this 2018, but an actual launch date has been postponed as a result of technical and funding concerns.
According to the lead engineer of NASA at Kennedy Space Center Mark Biesack, they test parachutes at most different situations for nominal entry, climb ascent abort situations, comprising a pad abort and for possibilities so they identify the chutes can securely deploy in the flight and manage the loads.
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SpaceX will perform its another parachute system test in the coming times in the California desert, again utilizing C-130 to drop the parachute test vehicle from approximately 25,000 feet. The test will be the same to the one performed earlier, but with a diverse deployment configuration. The test will purposefully avoid deployment of single drogue parachute and one major parachute to further establish the capability of SpaceX to land the vehicle in an off-nominal condition. The continuous testing confirmed the security of the parachute system for their astronauts.
Boeing is planned for its third of 5 scheduled qualification tests of their parachute system in May, utilizing the same kind of helium-filled balloon, which will be utilized in the reliability trials. For the qualification exam, the balloon carries a full-size version of the Starliner aircraft through the desert in New Mexico before freeing it.
The balloon lifts the spacecraft at over 1,000 feet per minute before it’s released from a height of at least 40,000 feet. A maneuvered parachute deployment series initiates, containing 3 pilots, 2 drogue, and 3 major chutes, which slow the descent of the spacecraft allowing for a safe touchdown.
Both SpaceX and Boeing’s parachute system qualification test is planned to be done by fall this year. The allies are aiming the return of human spaceflight from the Space Coast of Florida this year, and are planned to start flight trials late this summer.