SpaceX Shares Thrilling Video of Crew Dragon Parachute Test

SpaceX nails thirteenth back-to-back safety test of Crew Dragon parachute systems

In late spring, it was revealed that a SpaceX parachute test that took place in April yielded unsatisfactory results.

In a video posted to SpaceX's Twitter account this weekend, the company's Crew Dragon capsule - which is created to shuttle astronauts to the International Space Station - can be seen successfully completing a crucial test of its parachute.

According to SpaceX, the test went off without a hitch 13 consecutive times. It fared very well, with thirteen successful back-to-back tests of the system.

While the test wasn't successful, the data SpaceX gained throughout offered new insights on the structural margins and the ideal configuration, culminating in what the company calls its Mark 3 parachutes. "We certainly want to least on the order of 10 successful tests in a row before, before launching astronauts", Musk said in a press conference with Jim Bridenstine last month, which Bridenstine posted to Twitter. Along with a change in material, SpaceX also changed the pattern of stitch on the parachute to improve its weight balance and distribution.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft has aced yet another critical test. SpaceX's test will be a ground-baed test filing of the Crew Dragon's abort engines, which is set to happen as early as Wednesday. In this test, one of the four parachutes was purposefully not deployed.

In a tweet this month, Musk said that the both the Crew Dragon capsule and the Falcon 9 rocket created to propel it into space are on pace to finish testing in the next 10 weeks.

As the competition readies to launch its own capsule, SpaceX announced over the weekend that testing of the parachute system that is supposed to land the capsule safely is progressing.

After a delay of nearly two years, SpaceX's Crew Dragon might carry its first astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) as soon a January or February of next year.



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