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Image credit: NASA

On Nov. 20, a Technology Educational Satellite was released from the International Space Station into the atmosphere to test how well wireless sensor networks work during ascent or re-entry. While the video itself is rather sedate, the controlled fall is exactly what is intended to demonstrate. This type of parachute can be used to return small spacecraft holding science experiments back to Earth.

“The Exo-Brake’s shape can be changed to vary the drag on the satellite. With the help of high-fidelity simulations, we will demonstrate a low-cost, propellant-less method of returning small payloads quickly, and to fairly precise locations, for retrieval,” said Michelle Munk, NASA’s System Capability Lead for Entry, Descent and Landing.

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