Boeing spacecraft parachute test a success

May 5, 2012 at 12:48 PM
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ALAMO, Nev., May 5 (UPI) -- Boeing completed a parachute test in Nevada for its new spacecraft, which would transport crews to and from the International Space Station, NASA said.

A helicopter lifted the Crew Space Transportation spacecraft Wednesday about 10,000 feet above the Delamar Dry Lake Bed near Alamo, Nev., and dropped the capsule. A two-parachute sequence deployed, and the capsule dropped smoothly to the ground, cushioned by six inflated air bags, a release from NASA said Thursday.

"Boeing's parachute demonstrations are a clear sign NASA is moving in the right direction of enabling the American aerospace transportation industry to flourish under this partnership," NASA's Commercial Crew Program Manager Ed Mango said. "The investments we're making now are enabling this new path forward of getting our crews to (low-Earth orbit) and potentially the space station as soon as possible."

The capsule is designed to work with a variety of expendable rockets, Boeing said in a release Thursday.

"This second parachute drop test validates Boeing's innovative system architecture and deployment plan," said John Mulholland, vice president and program manager, Boeing Commercial Programs. "Boeing's completion of this milestone reaffirms our commitment to provide safe, reliable and affordable crewed access to space."

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