ESA successfully completes first parachute test for 2020 ExoMars mission

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Early in March the European Space Agency successfully completed the first of a series of parachute tests for its 2020 ExoMars rover mission.

The focus of the latest test, conducted in sub-zero conditions in Kiruna, Sweden earlier this month, was the 35 m-diameter second main parachute. The test demonstrated the deployment and inflation of the parachute with its 112 lines connected to a drop test vehicle, via the deployment of a smaller 4.8 m-wide pilot chute.

This test only tested the parachutes deployment system. They still need to do this test at high altitudes to duplicate Mars’ conditions using high-altitude balloons.

When ExoMars reaches Mars, the parachute will act to slow the spacecraft down during descent. For the actual landing, they will be using systems designed and built by the Russians.


One comment

  • Localfluff

    Here’s a to-the-point account of how pork distribution takes the better out of ESA’s space ambitions:
    Ideally, you’d ask the Germans to do it all! But they only pay 20% of ESA’s budget, so the others have to somehow make 80% of the mission. So Sweden, well we could at least drop a parachute there (unless it gets shot before landing).

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