SpaceX Conducts Dragon Parachute Test

By  //  January 20, 2014

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ABOVE VIDEO: NASA Commercial Crew Program partner Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, conducted a drop test of a Dragon test article in December. The capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Morro Bay, Calif. The drop test enabled SpaceX engineers to evaluate the spacecraft’s parachute deployment system as part of a milestone under its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability agreement with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

NASA.gov — Engineers and safety specialists from NASA and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) gathered in Morro Bay, California, in late December to demonstrate how the company’s Dragon spacecraft’s parachute system would function in the event of an emergency on the launch pad or during ascent.

The SpaceX main parachutes control the descent of the Dragon test article following a drop test over the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Morro Bay, Calif. (NASA.gov image)

The SpaceX main parachutes control the descent of the Dragon test article following a drop test over the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Morro Bay, Calif. (NASA.gov image)

The test was part of an optional milestone under NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative and approved by the agency in August. Through the Commercial Crew Program, SpaceX is one of NASA’s commercial partners working to develop a new generation of U.S. spacecraft and rockets capable of transporting humans to and from low-Earth orbit from American soil. NASA intends to use such commercial systems to fly U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station.


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