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Ares Parachute Drop Test in Yuma
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Ares Parachute Drop Test in Yuma

November 3, 2009
NASA and industry engineers will drop a 72,000 pound test payload including this “jumbo dart” test article from the back of a U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft to test the design limit load of the Ares I rocket's main parachute. Engineers from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manage the team conducting the test - the first in a series of three planned load limit tests - designed to place 100 percent of the flight dynamic pressures on the main parachute canopy. The main parachute, measuring 150 feet in diameter and weighing 2,000 pounds, is the largest rocket parachute ever built and the primary element of the rocket's deceleration and recovery system, which also includes a pilot parachute and drogue parachute. The parachutes work in tandem providing the drag necessary to slow the descent of the huge Ares I solid rocket motor.


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