WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
CLOSEOpt Out: I already like WMFE!

Like us on Facebook!

Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

NASA Puts Orion Parachutes To The Test

Engineers test Orion's parachutes earlier this year. Photo: NASA

NASA plans to put the Orion spacecraft’s parachutes to the test, but not all the chutes will deploy – and that’s what engineers want.

A C-17 transport aircraft will drop a mockup of the Orion spacecraft from 35,000 feet above the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.

But two drogue chutes and one main chute won’t open – and that’s on purpose. Engineers want to know how the parachutes will work if something goes wrong.

It’s another step in testing the capsule that NASA hopes will one day take astronauts to asteroids and Mars.

Last year, the Orion capsule – and parachutes – performed flawlessly during an unmanned test flight from Cape Canaveral. The parachutes slowed Orion down from 20,ooo mph to just 20 mph before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

Sign Up For 90.7 WMFE's Newsletter

Catch up on the latest Central Florida news and get updates on programs, events and more.


WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »