Mike Braukus/Beth Dickey
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
Photo release: H-06-310
A CH-47 Chinook helicopter lifts a parachute drop test vehicle to an elevation of 10,000 feet above a Yuma, Ariz., test range as part of a series of tests that will aid in development of the booster recovery system for NASA’s Ares I crew launch vehicle. The tests collected performance data on a pilot parachute, the first to be unfurled in a three-stage recovery system for the Ares I first stage booster. The system includes a pilot, drogue and three main parachutes. The pilot parachute was packed and mounted inside the drop test vehicle, which also provided the weight and velocity required to simulate the desired test “load” experienced during deployment and descent. In addition, instruments and a recorder were mounted inside the test vehicle to record performance data during descent. (NASA)
A pilot parachute and its payload, a 1,500-pound drop test vehicle, descend from an elevation of about 10,000 feet during a series of tests for the development of the booster recovery system for NASA’s Ares I crew launch vehicle. The pilot parachute, measuring approximately 11.5 feet in diameter, was packed and mounted inside the drop test vehicle, which was dropped above a Yuma test range by an Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter. The pilot parachute is the first parachute to be deployed in a three-stage recovery system that also includes a drogue and three main parachutes. During the drop tests, an array of instruments and a recorder mounted inside the test vehicle recorded speed, weight on the parachute lines and pressure during descent. The Ares I first stage booster Recovery System Development Test Program is approximately a two-year effort. Six additional pilot parachute tests will be conducted through 2008. Tests on the drogue and main parachutes also are planned. (NASA)
Source: NASA/MSFC Photo Release H-06-310