Nasa tests supersonic parachutes for smooth landing on mars

NASA's supersonic parachute

Nasa has tested a supersonic parachute to help us land on mars. NASA launched an unmanned rocket to test a supersonic parachute designed for use on Mars. It was launched from NASA’s facility in Virginia, with the parachute experiment strapped to the top.

The mars atmosphere is composed mostly of carbon dioxide. The atmospheric pressure on the Martian surface averages 600 pascals (0.087 psi; 6.0 mbar), about 0.6% of Earth’s mean sea level pressure of 101.3 kilopascals (14.69 psi; 1.013 bar). So specially designed parachutes are needed for smooth landing on mars.

The Martian parachute project is known as ASPIRE – “Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment.” The rocket is designed by the Jet Propulsion Lab in California.

JPL engineers developed the parachute system to withstand the high speeds and thin atmosphere spacecraft encounter during the decent to the Martian surface. The launch aims to test the system in the low density of Earth’s upper atmosphere.