Boeing reveals why one of the parachutes failed to deploy during Starliner test

Earlier this week, NASA and Boeing successfully tested the latter’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft in launch suspension tests to ensure that the spacecraft’s systems are operational in the event of an emergency during launch. The test was considered successful, but not perfect: one of the three parachutes used to return the capsule to the ground failed to deploy as planned, leaving only two to protect the ship.


As we previously reported, the launch abort test was conducted at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, where the team worked to launch an unmanned CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to test whether its systems could work independently and jointly, and if something went wrong, Whether the system can safely bring people back to the ground.

Boeing said in a statement Thursday that the test was a success. The various systems that control flight, guidance and propulsion work as expected, the service moduleis is properly separated, and both heat shields are operating as expected.

However, as we can see in the video above, only two of the three parachutes are installed in the system. Boeing highlighted the fact that two parachutes would allow the spacecraft to land safely without causing any damage – a third parachute is essentially redundant and can mitigate unexpected problems during a launch abort test.

It took Boeing’s team a long time to figure out why the parachute swashes failed to deploy. The company said in a statement that a third undeployed parachute was “unable to connect strongly between the test and the main parachute.” “We are taking all appropriate steps to resolve this issue. “

Boeing is scheduled to conduct orbital flight tests on December 17 and then manned flights next year.

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