PICTURE: NASA successfully drop tests the Ares I first-stage recovery parachute

This story is sourced from Flight International
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The first drop test of the Ares I crew launch vehicle's first-stage main parachute, conducted on 25 September at the US Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, was a success.

The parachute, with an 18,400kg (40,600lb) load attached, was dropped from a US Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III at 17,500ft (5,330m).

 ©  NASA
The parachute was dropped from a US Air Force Boeing C-17 transport from 17,500ft (5,330m)

Three main parachutes will enable a water recovery of the solid rocket booster first-stage for reconditioning. Ares I will carry NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle. The next parachute test is in November, with pilot chute, drogue and main chute tests continuing through to 2010.