Airborne Systems Designs and Manufactures Recovery System to Support SpaceX Demonstration
Santa Ana, CA - 31 May, 2012
Airborne Systems, a division of HDT Global and a world leader in parachute design, engineered and manufactured the Dragon capsule recovery system for the Dragon Spacecraft, supporting the recent SpaceX Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demonstration 2+ flight. Launched from Cape Canaveral on May 22, the Spacecraft landed successfully in the Pacific Ocean today, approximately 560 miles West of Baja, California.
The Dragon recovery system consists of two mortar-deployed Drogue parachutes and three main parachutes, all designed and built by Airborne Systems. The two Drogue parachutes are each 19 feet in diameter, and the three main parachutes are 116 feet in diameter. These parachutes guided the Dragon capsule drop, aiding in a successful landing in the Pacific Ocean.
This is the second successful landing of the Dragon Spacecraft, capping a recent list of successes for Airborne Systems. Continuing to lead the industry in parachute design, Airborne Systems also completed successful tests of the recovery systems for the NASA Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and for the Boeing CST-100 spacecraft earlier this year.
“The mission was very successful and marks a historic milestone in space technology, further justifying NASA’s position on the COTS Program,” said Robert Shiley II, Vice President and General Manager of the Space and Recovery Group, Airborne Systems. “We look forward to working with Space X, meeting mission objectives on future Dragon flights.”
With the recent retirement of the NASA Space Shuttle, NASA is currently outsourcing resupply to the International Space Station (ISS) in order to refocus its efforts on further destinations. The COTS contract provides funding for SpaceX to ferry cargo and astronauts to and from the ISS on behalf of NASA. In a highly competitive environment, SpaceX is the first private company to achieve successful delivery to the ISS.