C-17 Sets Payload Extraction Record

The 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., on April 14 set a record for the heaviest single payload extracted out of a C-17 during flight, according to an April 21 release. The payload was a 77,000-pound jumbo drop test vehicle. NASA, Alliant Techsystems, and United Space Alliance are using the JDTV to test the parachutes for a new, recoverable five-motor segment solid rocket booster employed with the Ares I launch vehicle. The new SRB is heavier than that employed with the space shuttle. Ellis Hines, 418th FLTS C-17 Ares project manager, said, “The test is designed to collect data and to see how the parachutes react to different weights.” The team plans to test 85,000 pounds next, in 2011, followed by the 90,000-pound test in fall 2011. (Edwards release by Kenji Thuloweit)