SpaceX’s manned Dragon parachute test did not end as planned this week after a parachute system that eventually attempted to land the spacecraft safely to the ground failed to deploy,media slash Gear reported. While it does not blame the failed test stake on the manned Dragon spacecraft itself, it could seriously hamper SpaceX and NASA’s ambitions for the spacecraft.
The manned Dragon spacecraft’s parachutes are designed for rapid deployment to significantly reduce the speed of the spacecraft before landing. SpaceX has completed several successful tests, starting with a parachute and then increasing it to three in the same capsule. However, if NASA is to actively use the manned Dragon spacecraft, it must be safe enough for human astronauts to enter the spacecraft.
The latest test involves dropping test items representing the manned Dragon spacecraft from a helicopter. However, test items were destroyed during the test. But according to SpaceX, luck is worse than anything else. A spokesman told Space News that test items became unstable as the helicopter rose. They explained: “As a precaution, the pilot cancelled the emergency release device to ensure the safety of the helicopter crew. “
However, the parachute system is not ready. It only happened when the helicopter was in place. As a result, a SpaceX spokesman said: “The parachute system did not initiate the parachute deployment process. No one was injured in the incident.
SpaceX is proving to NASA that the manned Dragon spacecraft is ready for mission, and is currently working on several fronts. The parachute test is the latest in a series of such tests – and it’s worth noting that most of them have been successful. Last November, for example, SpaceX said it had conducted 13 consecutive Mark 3 parachute system tests, including one of the parachutes that failed to deploy intentionally.
Other tests are also looking at the performance of manned Dragon spacecraft in other areas. Also in November 2019, the spacecraft passed the static combustion test of The SpaceX-operated Draco propulsion and SuperDraco engines.
In January 2020, SpaceX tested the abort system for the manned Dragon spacecraft. That was a particularly important moment because it looked at how the capsule would handle the off-the-fly rocket attack. Sure enough, the manned Dragon spacecraft was safely splashed into the Atlantic Ocean.
Not every test went according to plan, as SpaceX discovered in early March in the Falcon 9 accident, when the engine shut down early. NASA will be involved in the investigation to see if there is any cause for further attention.
For the manned Dragon spacecraft, the company’s hope is that the questionable parachute test won’t disrupt the Demo-2 Crew Dragon mission. It is expected to take place sometime in May and, if approved, it will see two U.S. astronauts use the spacecraft to travel to the International Space Station.