Boeing test teams reached a significant milestone for the CST-100 Starliner program by testing the parachute system that Starliner will use on its return to Earth on March 10.
Using a helium-filled balloon, it took about 30 minutes for the test vehicle to reach 38,300ft. The ride down took four minutes and reached speeds of 300mph. A series of mortars deployed parachutes at different altitudes, ultimately slowing the vehicle down to gently land.
“Visually, it performed better than expected,” said Tony Taylor, lead engineer for the Starliner parachute system. “Now, we have to go analyze all the data and then go drop the capsule a few more times.”
This was the first test to prove Starliner’s ability to return from space. More testing is planned for the next several months.
Watch the video and see inside the CST-100 Starliner test vehicle here.
Edited by Michael Jones