Because of its urgent need of a spaceship to transport American astronauts from Earth to the International Space Station, NASA has contracted SpaceX and Boeing with incredibly high amounts of money to find a way somehow. Even if both SpaceX and Boeing have continually failed to head in the plans concerning a crewed spaceflight, at least the first-mentioned company succeeded in sending an uncrewed capsule to the International Space Station, namely its SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Although Boeing seems to own unlimited resources, SpaceX took the lead regarding the space exploration field. Boeing has not yet even launched its spacecraft named Starliner, but a late rumor coming from a meeting of a House delegation goes around saying that the SpaceX recent accident may have left the door opened just enough for Boeing to pass through and possibly take over the race.
Even more, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, William Gerstenmaier, said at the House Committee meeting that a basic test of a SpaceX Crew Dragon parachute system has pretty much failed. That failure is not doing well to the SpaceX-NASA collaboration, apparently, and an investigation has been put into motion.
SpaceX Crew Dragon Parachute System Test Did Not Meet NASA Expectation
The SpaceX parachute test consisted in an array of parachutes which had to expand together at the same time, relieving the landing and bringing the spacecraft into a smooth touchdown, which in this case, was a massive metal luge only utilized for testings. Because both NASA and SpaceX had been ready for all situations that might appear during the official and final employment of the assemblage, the parachute system was trialed with only three of its total of four parachutes, mimicking a breakdown of a single parachute.
Alas, the three tested parachuted didn’t open as they were supposed to, and missed to decrease the testing luge’s speed efficiently enough to safely land. The vehicle used for the testing suffered damage, and so the test conclusions were unsatisfactory for the American space agency.
Boeing appears to have taken this occasion and used it to gain public benevolence, taking the matter to Twitter, pinpointing that their Starliner crew capsule has managed to conclude four main parachute tests successfully. That’s nice of you, Boeing, but until Starliner actually flies into space, the point is basically worthless for the SpaceX vs. Boeing competition.