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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Perseverance gets to Mars with Parachute and Sky Crane

Perseverance under parachute canopy

Perseverance hanging from rocket-powered Sky Crane. 

We had another picture of a spacecraft parachuting to Mars: 
It was from the Phoenix lander in 2008: 

The Sky Crane picture is also awesome, but having spent some time under canopy, I am especially fond of the parachute photos. Dino KL0S and Kevin AA7YQ know what I'm talking about.  And Mike WA6ARA used to design and test parachutes for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  

My affinity for parachutes probably predates my jumping.  My Estes rockets usually returned to earth by parachute (sometimes they used the more economical "streamers").  And my grandfather had a little kite contraption that would send a parachute up to a kite where the device  would hit a cork on the line and release the parachute.  He used to attach a dollar bill to the toy parachutist for the kids in the neighborhood.  Decades later, my dad got one of these, and we frequently flew it during beach vacations.  So I like parachutes.   


1 comment:

  1. The device is called a "kite sled". Made out of lightweight coat-hangers. Not only can it release a parachute, but it can trigger a camera for aerial photography, then send the camera back down the line for film-winding. (We're talking real 1950's technology here -- none of that modern digital or point-and-shoot stuff.)


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