European Space Agency tests giant parachute for its 2021 ExoMars mission
“The successful deployment of our large ExoMars parachute using a smaller pilot chute and its subsequent stable descent without damage, is a major milestone for the project,” said ESA’s Thierry Blancquaert, one of the members of the ExoMars team. “It was a very exciting moment to see this giant parachute unfurl and deliver the test module to the snowy surface in Kiruna.”
Later on in testing, the ESA will conduct a “full parachute deployment sequence, which comprises two main parachutes, each with a pilot chute,” the agency noted. If all goes well, we can expect to see the spacecraft carrying the chute take off in 2020. “We’re looking forward to assessing the full parachute descent sequence in the upcoming high-altitude tests,” Blancquaert noted. And we can say quite certainly, so are we.
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Image credit: ESA