NASA just published a video of SpaceX successfully conducting a parachute drop test near Coolidge, Arizona, which shows four parachutes being deployed out of the back of an aircraft.
These parachutes will eventually be called upon to lower SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft back to Earth safely.
All four parachutes opened according to plan, carrying a massive weight to act as the spacecraft, after being dropped out of a C-130 aircraft.
While the parachute drop test took place in the desert, the real missions scheduled for late 2017 or early 2018 will see the Dragon crew capsule splash down in the ocean, which is the plan as of now.
NASA’s YouTube Description:
SpaceX performed a successful test of its parachute system for the Crew Dragon spacecraft near Coolidge, Arizona, as part of its final development and certification work with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Using a weight simulant in the place of a boilerplate spacecraft, four main parachutes were rigged to deploy just as they would when the Crew Dragon returns to Earth with astronauts aboard. Initially, the spacecraft will splash down safely in the ocean under parachutes, but ultimately the company wants to land the vehicle on land using eight SuperDraco engines.
SpaceX recently tested propulsive land landing ability in Texas.