Press Release

Next year when Dragon of SpaceX capsule is moving rapidly heading towards the Pacific Ocean at a distance of 540 miles per hour on its return from the International Space Station. The technology behind this is making sure the astronauts inside the capsule arrive safely. 

Compared to the sophisticated technology contained in the recent space ship, one may think that the simple parachutes would be the manageable part of the plan but in fact, it is one of the complex challenges. 

In October during SpaceX Press Conference, Elon Musk said that the parachutes may appear to be simple but in a real sense, they are complex. He went to add stating that many from the team of experts have quit over the parachutes.

In April, during a drop test, the Dragon capsule crash of SpaceX arrived in the Nevada desert due to the failure of the parachutes to inflate. 

In November, only two parachutes out of three unfolded in preparation for use on Starliner of Boeing capsule during an abort test.  

Unsurprisingly, when the Office of The Inspector General, the agency that is responsible for oversight released their report in November about the state of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, it gave out issues concerning parachutes and a huge hurdle towards the target of NASA of launching astronauts from the American soil. 

Both Boeing and SpaceX face significant technical problems when it comes to parachutes, propulsion and launch abort systems that require being mending prior to receiving the authorization from NASA to transport astronauts to and from the ISS. 

Why are the parachutes so hard to get right? Above all, we have been with them ever since the program of Mercury to slow the spaceship during a launch that been aborted or in its last descending to Earth. 

John Mulholland who is the vice president and program manager of the commercial crew at Boeing said that they appear simple in their making but the parachute sequencing, the inflation, their counteracting ability to load from the spaceship coming in from the orbit and the interacting with every aerodynamic condition of the day becomes very complex.

However, just as experts are giving an attempt to push against the limiting factors for considering space technology. Parachutes do not portray any difference: the need for those light in terms of weight and less costly in their prices is evident. 

It is just simple: the lighter the payload, the less costly the trip since less fuel is used. However, for business entities like Boeing and SpaceX, every cent counts as they aim to make an additional income. 

This post was originally published on The Picayune Current