NASA tested a parachute for landing on Mars

At the moment the American space Agency NASA have been preparing for the Mars 2020 mission. Through the planned series of tests recently completed the third (and final) stage of testing of the parachute system ASPIRE (Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment), which should help an aircraft to make a safe landing on the surface of the fourth planet from the Sun.

During a series of tests was the evaluation of two different parachutes. The first was the almost exact copy of parachute that was used in 2012 for landing the Mars science laboratory. The second was strengthened with a variety of materials like nylon and Kevlar fibers. Most likely, the upcoming mission will be used for the second variant, as the weight will significantly exceed that delivered in 2012.

“Mars 2020 will carry the heaviest payload of all that ever was transported to the surface of Mars. ASPIRE testing showed how our parachute will behave when it will deployed for the first time in a supersonic flow high above Mars. And it looks just fine.” — said the Manager of the project Mars 2020 John Macnamee.

The load on the system parachute during testing was the highest possible and amounted to about 37,000 pounds. This is 85% higher than scientists would have expected in advance. The parachute was installed on the rocket Black Brant IX and withstood her weight. According to the technical project leader for the development of ASPIRE Jan Clark

“The Earth’s atmosphere near the surface is much denser than at the surface of Mars is about 100 times. But at an altitude of about 37 kilometers and its density is very similar to that where on Mars the parachute should work. It is in these conditions and passed the test.”

The launch of the Mars 2020 mission is planned for 2020, and landing equipment on the surface of the red planet to be held in February 2021.

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