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Rocket Sled Parachute Design Verification

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Published on Jan 28, 2014

10/11/2013
A prototype Mars parachute is pulled from the sky with a rocket sled. The test applies the correct aerodynamic force to a parachute that is too large to fit in any existing wind tunnel.

The successful test approach allows engineers to study issues and improve parachute design.

MH-60S Knighthawk Helicopter, 4000 ft Drop Altitude
135,000 lb Sled
100,000 lbf of Pull Thrust
50,000 lb Tripod Structure
2,000,000 lb Concrete Anchors
300 hp Winch to Fish in Parachute
2600 ft 1-5/8" Technora® Rope (produced by Samson)
2000 lb Pulley

JPL clearance number: CL#14-0516
NAWCWD clearance number: 13-0171

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