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Greetings from sunny Yuma, AZ!
We have come out here to shoot video of the parachute test of the Ares I first stage. These parachutes are designed to slow the spent first-stage motor so it can be used again.
They drop them here at the Yuma Proving Ground because this area is almost the size of Rhode Island and there is plenty of space to drop large payloads.
Here is the video we shot and edited in one day...
Speaking of large payloads, below is a picture of the three parachutes before the drop. The parachutes are 150 feet in diameter and weigh almost 2000 pounds each.
While out here, we shot some interviews with folks who talked about what will happen and why they are doing it...
After the video and interviews were shot, Lee took all the footage and used our Tricaster to turn it into a video which we posted online within hours of the actual test.
The payload is loaded into an Air Force C-17 and dropped from a very high altitude
They dropped the payload at 6:30AM, so we had to be out there at 4AM...here I am at the drop zone waiting for the actual drop...
After exiting the C-17, the parachutes opened up beautifully and brought the 41,500 pound load to a soft landing on the desert floor.
Just another day at the office!