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Picture of the Week: Oh, Chute! September 2, 2008

Posted by Nick Azer in NASA, Orion (craft), Picture of the Week, Youtube.
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That is the result of a recent NASA test of its Orion craft’s (Orion being the replacement for the Space Shuttle) recovery-landing parachutes.

According to NASA’s report on the failed test, the parachutes on the actual craft worked fine, but the parachutes used to set up the test (e.g., the simulation) failed, causing the craft to fall faster than desired and resulting in what I’m sure was a lovely and distinctive “thump”.

Apparently this is a pretty common type of failure, and doesn’t represent a serious setback (though it did succeed in producing entertaining photos and video…and not to mention a lot of coverage).

Yes, video:

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