Ideally, Astronauts want to return to Earth in fully functional space capsules, but sometimes things can go awry. That's why NASA is making a point of testing the Orion spacecraft's parachute deployment system for failures. The team's latest parachute test saw a test capsule falling from 25,000 feet with two of three drogue chutes rigged to fail and for one of two main parachutes to skip its inflation stage -- despite the handicap, the empty craft landed safely. "Parachute deployment is inherently chaotic and not easily predictable," Explains the Orion's landing and recovery system manager, Stu McClung. "The end result can be very unforgiving. That's why we test. If we have problems with the system, we want to know about them now." NASA plans to perform additional parachute tests at higher altitudes in July to help balance and reduce risk for Orion's crew. Check out NASA's official press release and a brief video of the test after the break.
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