video 24-January-2019 03:01:59

Schiaparelli's parachute during testing

24 July 2015

Testing a model of the parachute that will slow the Schiaparelli Entry, descent and landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) as it plummets through the Martian atmosphere.

When the module is about 11 km from the surface, descending at a speed of about 1700 km/h, the parachute will be deployed by a mortar. Trailing behind the module at a distance of 27 m, the parachute will slow the module to about 200 km/h (at 1.2 km from the surface), at which stage the parachute will be jettisoned.

The parachute is a "disc-gap-band" type - the type that was used for the ESA Huygens probe descent to Titan and for all NASA planetary entries so far.

The canopy, with a nominal diameter of 12 m, is made from nylon fabric and the lines are made from Kevlar, a very strong synthetic material.

Tests of how the parachute will inflate at high (supersonic) speeds were carried out in a supersonic wind tunnel in the NASA Glenn Research Center.

Last Update: 18 October 2016

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