In December, engineers simulated a failure of one of the drogue parachutes
in a test that ended with a safe landing, proving the system design is valid.
The test verified Orion can land safely even if one of its two drogue parachutes does not open during descent.
Three are main parachutes measuring 116 feet wide and two are drogue parachutes measuring 23 feet wide.
HDT Airborne Systems of Solon, Ohio, designed, fabricated and integrated the parachute system, including the two drogue parachutes
Army, and the United Space Alliance (USA), successfully conducted the second in a series of four Ares I drogue parachute drop tests.
The drogue parachute reorients and decelerates the Ares I first stage booster to an acceptable speed and condition before the main parachutes are deployed.
Using it along with test configuration parachutes to get it into place for the test put more stress than ever before on the two drogue parachutes
that precede the main parachutes and begin the job of slowing Orion down before it lands.
Following Dragon's release, two drogue parachutes
were released from the top of the spacecraft to slow its decent, before the three main parachutes deployed.
In a carefully timed sequence of events, dual redundant drogue parachutes
deployed first to stabilize and gently slow the craft before three main parachutes, 116 feet in diameter, further slowed the craft to a picture perfect landing.
The trunk, an unpowered cylinder with stabilizing fins, detached from the spacecraft when it reached maximum altitude and fell back to Earth, while the capsule rotated on as planned for a couple seconds before unfurling its drogue parachutes
, which then deployed the main parachutes.
Engineers rigged one of the test capsule's two drogue parachutes
not to deploy and one of its three main parachutes to skip its first stage of inflation after being extracted from a plane 25,000 feet above the Arizona desert.