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SpaceX Crew Dragon Can Safely Fall Out of the Sky with Malfunctioning Parachute

The Crew Dragon capsule designed by SpaceX is the single one of the Holy Trinity of ships that also comprises the Boeing Starliner and NASA Orion to have so far successfully flown to the International Space Station (ISS) and back. Even so, testing of the spacecraft continues.
Crew Dragon parachute 1 photo
Photo: SpaceX
Last year, NASA was hoping that by the end of 2019 it will be able to launch American astronauts into space from home-based launchpads. As the year draws to a close, it is becoming increasingly clear that such an achievement would not be accomplished in the set timeframe.

Crew Dragon’s test flight to the ISS proved that privately-funded and built spacecraft are viable for crewed missions, but later hiccups, including one that obliterated the same ship on the test pad at a later date, showed further fine-tuning needs to be made.

As the competition readies to launch its own capsule, SpaceX announced over the weekend that testing of the parachute system that is supposed to land the capsule safely is progressing.

The most recent achievement of the space company was demonstrating that the Crew Dragon could land safely even if one of the four parachutes fails, as seen in the video below.

“SpaceX team has completed 13 successful tests in a row of upgraded Mark 3 parachutes for Crew Dragon. Most recent test demonstrated the parachute system’s ability to land the spacecraft safely in the unlikely event that one of the four main parachutes fails,” the company said in a tweet.

In late spring, it was revealed that a SpaceX parachute test that took place in April yielded unsatisfactory results. The revelation came on the heels of the Crew Dragon explosion at the beginning of May.

At the moment, there is no official date set for the first Crew Dragon flight with people on board, as the company eyes another launch abort that hopefully this time won’t end in disaster.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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