Mars 2020 is a Mars rover mission from NASA’s Mars Exploration Program with a planned launch in 2020. The ambitious NASA Mars rover mission will rely on a special parachute to slow the spacecraft down as it enters the Martian atmosphere at over 12,000 mph (5.4 kilometers per second).
This video is narrated by Ian Clark, the test’s technical lead from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The test took place on Oct. 4, 2017, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. At the moment of full inflation, the parachute is going 1.8 times the speed of sound or nearly 1,300 miles an hour, and generating nearly 35,000 pounds of drag force—drag that would be necessary to help slow a payload down as it was entering the – thin – Martian atmosphere.