Boeing Conducts Second CST-100 Parachute Test

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Boeing Space Exploration of Houston said May 3 that it had successfully completed the second parachute drop test of the company’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft at the Delamar Dry Lake Bed near Alamo, Nev. The test demonstrated the performance of the entire landing system, Boeing said in a press release.

The CST-100 test article was lifted by helicopter to roughly 4,200 meters and dropped, initiating a drogue parachute deployment sequence that was followed by deployment of the main parachute. Six inflated airbags cushioned the test article’s landing.

“This second parachute drop test validates Boeing’s innovative system architecture and deployment plan,” John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Boeing Commercial Programs, said in a statement. “Boeing’s completion of this milestone reaffirms our commitment to provide safe, reliable and affordable crewed access to space.”

Boeing said it performed the drop test with support from North Las Vegas, Nev.-based Bigelow Aerospace, which provided the capsule test article and associate electronics.

HDT Airborne Systems designed, fabricated and integrated the parachute system. ILC Dover designed and fabricated the landing air bag system.

Boeing submitted a proposal to NASA in early April for continued Commercial Crew Program funding of CST-100 development.

Boeing is one of four companies NASA is currently funding to develop a crew transportation system that could be used starting in 2017 to fly astronauts to the international space station.