The largest rocket parachutes ever fabricated worked as planned in this drop test May 20 at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, demonstrating that the three-chute package probably will be able to ease the first stage of NASA’s Ares I crew exploration vehicle back into the ocean for reuse. The parachutes will get a more realistic test during the Ares I-X prototype suborbital flight test this fall (AW&ST Mar. 23, p. 36), but on their first outing they functioned properly in a ...

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