SpaceX today shared of video on Twitter of it testing the parachutes for the Crew Dragon spacecraft. And this test was the 13th successful test of the parachutes, in a row. SpaceX only had a target of 10 successful tests by the year end, as Elon Musk had stated in a joint press conference with NASA last month at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. So its a new achievement.
In this latest test video, the company intentionally did not deploy one of four parachutes, just to demonstrate that it is safe even it of them fails to deploy. This is a rare occasion for SpaceX, because this time they are actually ahead of the schedule that Elon Musk had set for the testing of these third generation parachutes.
Talking of the third generation, the parachutes use the Zylon polymer material instead of nylon, which is up to three times stronger than nylon. The company has also changed the stitching pattern on these parachutes, in an effort to optimise the load balancing capabilities of the parachutes. And by the looks of it, they seem to have succeeded in that.
If you didn’t already know, SpaceX is working with NASA on this project, to launch the Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts aboard. But before that could actually happen, SpaceX has a bunch of more tests planned, which will happen by this year end.
SpaceX is pretty confident that it will actually take off the ground a crewed flight early next year. And NASA is sharing this confidence with SpaceX. Exciting times indeed.