HomeNewsSpaceX, NASA Reportedly Investigating Parachute Issues on Last Two Flights

SpaceX, NASA Reportedly Investigating Parachute Issues on Last Two Flights

by Michael Freeman
(Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

SpaceX and NASA are regularly launching things into space and as they say, what goes up must come down. However, the two organizations seem to have problems with the latter, with parachute issues occurring on the last two flights. As you might expect, this is quite important, warranting investigations into the matter.

When astronauts returned to Earth aboard the Dragon craft named Endeavor, one of the four parachutes inflated more slowly than the others. In fact, the delay was more than a minute compared to the other parachutes. A similar issue cropped up while a Dragon cargo capsule brought science experiments back from the International Space Station (ISS) a week ago. Fox News reports Steve Stitch, NASA’s commercial crew program manager, said they are taking “extra caution with this very critical system.”

Officials said Friday during a teleconference they wish to better understand the problem. To help discern the issue, they state they are studying photographs and inspecting the parachutes. “We’re not taking anything for granted,” SpaceX’s William Gerstenmaier told reporters. Luckily, for a safe, successful splashdown, rockets and capsules need only three of four parachutes. Nonetheless, it’s an issue worth examining.

Officials also noted that something similar happened during development and in former cargo missions. Because of this, they suspect it has something to do with their multiple-chute design. Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule and NASA’s Orion moon capsule suffer a similar problem, but neither has launched astronauts yet.

While it may seem like a huge safety concern, Space.com reports Gerstenmaier insists it is not. “This is more of a learning exercise of how we can improve our design and engineering understanding of parachute operation.”

A SpaceX Rocket is Out-of-Control and on its Way to Crash Into the Moon

Though SpaceX and NASA authorities aren’t concerned with the rocket parachute issue, another problem is much more serious. A SpaceX rocket is out-of-control and currently on its way to crash into the moon.

To be specific, scientists expect an upper stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 that launched in 2015 to hit the moon on March 4. Speculated to crash while traveling at 2.6 kilometers per hour, it will create a crater. While scientists aren’t necessarily concerned with that, the impact could spread Earth microorganisms still attached to the rocket onto the moon.

“I’m not bothered by one more crater being made on the Moon,” Dr. Rothery, a planetary geoscience professor at The Open University told The Conversation last week. “What we should worry about is contaminating the Moon with living microbes, or molecules that could in the future be mistaken as evidence of former life on the Moon.”

Scientists say this is the first time something from space unintentionally will hit the moon.