Tencent Technology News, May 10, according to foreign media reports, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) official said yesterday at the House Subcommittee hearing that the SpaceX manned dragon spacecraft's most recent parachute test "do not Satisfactory”. Although it did not disclose the specific details, it seems that NASA is unlikely to have the ability to send astronauts into space soon.
The US House of Representatives Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing yesterday in Washington, DC to discuss NASA's moon landing plan and the impact of compressing the moon landing time on humans' landing on Mars. During the hearing, however, the topic moved to a test event that took place last month at Delamar Dry Lake in Nevada. SpaceX was testing the parachute system of the manned dragonship.
In response to a question from Alabama Congressman Morris Brooks, Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's deputy director of human exploration and action, said: "This The results of the test were not satisfactory. ” Gustenmeier said: "We didn't get the results we wanted, but we got some information that might affect the future parachute design." ”
When asked what the unintended result meant, the NASA official said that the test equipment "damaged when it collided with the ground".
A SpaceX spokesperson also confirmed the incident, saying it was a “advanced development test” designed to measure the pressure on the parachute. However, instead of using a real manned dragonship, SpaceX used a simple metal sled as a test device. According to the spokesperson, the parachute was not fully opened during the test, and the sled hit the ground with a higher than expected speed. No one was injured and no property damage occurred at the test site.
This was a deliberate "special" test in which one of the four parachutes was disabled during the landing. This test is designed to simulate the situation when a single parachute fails to open. A SpaceX spokesperson said that the company had “successfully” conducted five similar trials in the past. However, as Gustenmeier explained at the hearing, the remaining three parachutes did not work as expected.
As for the reasons for the failure, Gustenmeier could not provide a clear answer.
He told the committee: "We still need to figure out whether this is a malfunction of the test device setup, or whether it is related to the parachute packaging, rigging, etc. & rdquo; He said that during the test failure, the load information in each parachute cover was recorded, and the data will be used to investigate the cause.
Gustenberger said that he feels "reassured" to solve this problem. NASA is "all powerful" to solve this problem. He also tried to look at this matter from a positive perspective.
“I don’t think this is negative,” he told the committee. “ This is why we tested. That's why we want to advance the plan. This is a gift for us. The data we get is unique, which will help us design and understand the nuances of the test and the issues that need to be fixed. ”
A SpaceX spokesperson also expressed the same view. He said that the data collected from this anomaly test provided industry-leading positive insights, provided information for future testing, and allowed us to develop safer. System”. So far, SpaceX has completed 19 parachute system tests and plans to do more tests before NASA sends the astronauts to space.
At the hearing, NASA Security and Advisory Group Chairman Patricia Sanders told the committee that in recent months, the Commercial Crow Program has arranged a large number of parachute tests. Including the Orion spacecraft developed by NASA and the European Space Agency. “Not very satisfactory results and some tests suggest that it may be necessary to redesign or adjust the design,” she said.
NASA's "Business Astronaut Program" began in 2010 as a collaboration between NASA and private space companies such as SpaceX, Boeing and Blue Origins to develop cheaper transportation to and from Earth orbit. SpaceX is not the only private company that develops commercial astronaut technology.
Members of Congress did not ask about the recent parachute test results of Gosten Meyer Boeing. But after the hearing, he confirmed that Boeing's "Starship" starliner's parachute landing test encountered anomalies similar to SpaceX.
The SpaceX spokesperson did not respond to a plan for whether the failure of the parachute test would affect NASA's schedule. NASA also did not respond to the impact of related issues on project time.
It now appears that with the failure of the manned dragon spacecraft rocket booster test last month, NASA is increasingly unlikely to carry out manned tests on the SpaceX manned dragon spacecraft in 2019.
The first manned test of the manned spacecraft was scheduled to take place on July 25 this year, but it seems too optimistic given the events of the past few weeks. Since the space shuttle retired in 2011, the United States has not been able to independently transport astronauts to space and has relied on the Russian Union. (Tencent Technology Compilation / 皎晗)