SpaceX Drops Crew Dragon Capsule from Helicopter to Test Parachute System

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is poised to become the first American-built capsule in decades capable of taking humans to space.
SpaceX Crew Dragon parachute testing 4 photos
Photo: SpaceX via Twitter
Crew Dragon parachute testingCrew Dragon parachute testingCrew Dragon parachute testing
Work on the Dragon is progressing, the company revealed on Tuesday, when it released a short video that shows the Dragon conducting a parachute system test. The test marked the 16th time SpaceX has put the parachute system through its paces.

For the test, SpaceX tied the Dragon to a heavy-lift helicopter and raised the pair in the skies above the Naval Air Facility El Centro in Southern California. Once it reached the desired height, the helicopter dropped its cargo, and the capsule began falling to the ground.

The parachute system of the Dragon is a safety measure intended for a possible low altitude abort. Should such an event occur after launch, the capsule is to detach from the rocket carrying it to space and fall back to the ground by means of parachute.

The Crew Dragon is to be the manned-version of the Dragon currently making trips to and from the International Space Station (ISS). It will be capable of carrying up to seven astronauts seated in carbon fiber seats wrapped in Alcantara cloth.

It has been designed to be much more comfortable than previous American capsules, being fitted with an Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) that can be controlled by the astronauts, who can set the spacecraft’s interior temperature to between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The capsule is equipped with an advanced emergency escape system that would allow astronauts to escape in the case of an accident while experiencing about the same G-forces as a ride at Disneyland.

SpaceX did not announce a date when the new capsule is expected to be ready. When it is, it will be used to launch astronauts to the ISS and later, with the help of the Big Falcon Rocket, to the Moon and Mars.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

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.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories