Skip to comments.Exomars: Parachute test failure threat to launch date
Posted on 08/13/2019 8:50:44 PM PDT by BenLurkin
During a high-altitude test on 5 August in Kiruna, Sweden, a test mass designed to represent the combined lander and rover was dropped from a stratospheric helium balloon at the height of 29km.
Engineers were testing the largest of two main parachutes, measuring 35m in diameter, designed to slow the vehicle to a speed required to land safely on Mars. The European Space Agency says it's the largest ever to fly on a Mars mission.
However, the test article crashed into the ground at high speed. Preliminary analysis shows that the initial steps in the parachute's deployment were carried out correctly. However, specialists spotted radial tears in the canopy of the parachute prior to its inflation.
As result, the test module descended under the drag of the pilot chute alone.
The same tearing problem was seen on a previous test at the Swedish Space Corporation's Esrange site, on 28 May. The balloon drop test was designed to test the deployment of the two main parachutes and the pilot chutes designed to extract them from bags on the descent module.
Changes were made to the design of the parachutes and bags following that test, but they evidently didn't solve the problem.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...
That is why they call them TESTS.
Better to fail a test than to go all the ways to mars and fail.
I am sure they have run the math, but Marsian atmosphere is far far thinner that the earths... So, a parachute in earths atmosphere is going to encounter far more resistance than it would on Mars....
Its bad that the chute tore, but it also is facing far greater stresses on earth than it would on Mars.. No?
They'll definitely want a working parachute. ;^) Thanks fieldmarshaldj.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.