OCT 29, 2018 6:09 PM PDT

Here's How NASA Tests Martian Parachutes

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA uses parachute systems throughout the solar system to ensure spacecraft land safely on other planetary bodies. One of the most prominent examples is Mars, which NASA has already sent several missions to for scientific study.

Developing a parachute for a place like Mars is a bit different than it is here on Earth. The differences in atmospheric density and makeup mean that NASA needs to design its Martian parachutes differently than they would for Earth’s atmosphere.

Naturally, NASA can’t afford to send test parachutes to Mars every time it begins a new Martian mission, but high up in the Earth’s atmosphere, the conditions aren’t too different from what we’d expect on Mars.

Given the circumstances, NASA sends test parachutes for Mars high up into Earth’s atmosphere and takes measurements as they fall through the sweet spot akin to Mars’s atmosphere. From here, they tweak the design of the parachute and go from there.

Test payloads deployed with rockets enable NASA to develop many parachute types for various payload weights; this improves the efficiency and reliability of the space agency’s interplanetary parachute systems.

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JAN 14, 2022
Space & Astronomy
The Expanse: A Lasting Impact on Science Fiction
JAN 14, 2022
The Expanse: A Lasting Impact on Science Fiction
First premiering on SyFy on December 14, 2015, the critically acclaimed outer space drama known as The Expanse quickly g ...
JAN 17, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
'Space Anemia' is Due to an Accelerated Loss of Red Blood Cells
JAN 17, 2022
'Space Anemia' is Due to an Accelerated Loss of Red Blood Cells
When astronauts go to space, many of them become anemic; they lose red blood cells. It's been suggested that space anemi ...
JAN 28, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
The Global Search for Dark Matter
JAN 28, 2022
The Global Search for Dark Matter
A global collective of researchers has published its first study on its search for dark matter. Led by the PRISMA+Cluste ...
APR 12, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Celebrate Humanity on the International Day of Human Space Flight
APR 12, 2022
Celebrate Humanity on the International Day of Human Space Flight
April 12th marks the annual celebration of the International Day of Space Flight. In 2011, the General Assembly (GA) of ...
APR 28, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
Weighing an Invisible Object in Space
APR 28, 2022
Weighing an Invisible Object in Space
Our Universe is full of exotic objects and phenomena, and we have built telescopes and satellites to try and attain a de ...
MAY 16, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Ceres: King of the Asteroid Belt
MAY 16, 2022
Ceres: King of the Asteroid Belt
Fans of the show The Expanse will undoubtedly know about Ceres Station, with its six million inhabitants, artificial gra ...
Loading Comments...