SpaceX has tested a parachute system that will land the Crew Dragon spacecraft, who will carry astronauts back from the ISS. NASA’s plans for the Dragon 2 spacecraft are faltering.
NASA Tests SpaceX Parachutes
The tests deployed four parachutes in Coolidge, Arizona. NASA released a statement on the news. This stage is the final one in the partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. It was meant to develop crew space transportation elements for astronauts travelling to and from the ISS.
The test used a mass simulator as weight and was launched thousands of feet above ground. The test did not include drogue chutes, which a full landing system would use.
SpaceX Is All Over Dragon 2 and Parachutes
This has been a very busy month for SpaceX. They not only managed to succeed and fail to land a reusable rocket, but they are also testing their Dragon2 spacecraft. This ship is fit to carry both crew and cargo. NASA awarded SpaceX recently with contracts to fly cargo missions to the ISS between 2019 and 2024. SpaceX will now be able to fly six missions to ISS in this time span.
Elon Musk Boosts Hyperloop Project
In related news, Elon Musk is taking his high speed transportation system to the next level. The Hyperloop project brought in a partnership with Aecom. Together, they will build a 1-mile test track in California. This will be tested in the Hyperloop pod competition, taking place later this year.
The competition kicks off this coming weekend, where 100 pod designs will be examined. A selection of them will compete again in the summer. The track is set to be 6 feet wide and 1 mile long. The project was first announced in 2013 as the ‘train of the future’.
The track will take depressurized tube-based trains. These trains will run at 760mph and take up to 840 passengers every hour. This makes for 7.6 million passengers per year. The cost for building the track and train will be $6 billion. SpaceX released a 60 page report on the technological advances. They don’t want to be the one company involved in the building. They’re challenging the public to join the effort and help bring the project to life.