Last week, SpaceX and NASA confirmed that a parachute test conducted last month for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft was not up to the mark. The investigation was conducted by the House Science Committee on NASA’s space exploration plans. During the investigation, Representative Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) puzzled agency officials over parachute testing for commercial crew spacecraft, zeroing in on a precise, formerly unrevealed trial in April.
In that trial, one among the set of four parachutes was failed to open in a single attempt. However, Mo Brooks also stated that the remaining three chutes did not function appropriately, which led the load to hit the ground at a higher pace.
William H. Gerstenmaier—Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations for NASA—said that the cause of the malfunctioning wasn’t clear yet. The agency has been trying to recognize the exact fault behind the parachute system malfunctioning. He noted that the parachutes were equipped with instrumented lines capable of measuring loads, which will offer significant information for that investigation.
Parachute development has remained one of the key issues for both SpaceX and Boeing throughout commercial crew development. The issue was discussed at several latest conferences of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel. To the date, 19 different tests of parachute system have already been performed by SpaceX.
On a similar subject, Virgin Galactic’s contract with New Mexico leads to shifting of its commercial spaceflight activities to Spaceport America when its operations and vehicles are almost set to launch. The spaceflight company has revealed that its program had advanced enough to transport the space vehicles and spaceline staff from Mojave, California to Spaceport America, New Mexico.
In the month of February, the company conducted Virgin Space Ship Unity’s first test flight with a passenger aboard. Now, it is focused on to accomplishing the vehicle’s final tests from its relocated place, New Mexico.