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# Space Exploration/mars exploration

Question
Thank you first of all. My question is when the latest rover decelerated by some 12,000 mph in the mas atmosphere,a giant chute was deployed in order to slow it down enough to fire the rockets which then held the craft 100 ft above the gerund as it lowered curiosity down on cables.
My question is with mars atmospheric pressure being just 1% that of earths at ground level and 1/2% of the earths higher up, how could a parachute collect enough air to even open up let alone slow down a 2 ton payload so dramatically in a mars atmosphere so thin its  similar to the vacuum of space?

Hi, thanks for writing.  I am not sure of the numbers, but the drag on the parachute (also depending on the size and the amount of time they were deployed) was enough that it resulted in enough fuel savings to be worth the parachutes being used.  Write anytime.
Questioner's Rating
 Rating(1-10) Knowledgeability = 3 Clarity of Response = 6 Politeness = 10 Comment No offense but i was very disappointed with the answer.The expert just told me why a parachute would be deployed and the chute met enough resistance to save fuel.As a skeptic i need to know how 1/2 to 1% of the earths atmospheric pressure could even open a chute. In the event it did though it would not provide any resistance due to the air being too thin. It would be be like when the astronaut dropped the rock and feather simultaneously on the moon to prove Newtons theory that all sizes of objects are pulled equally by gravity and the only factor in descent speed would be variables like air resistance. A chute will not open in the vacuum of space and it will not slow down anything in air 200 times thinner than earths, there's just nothing there to resist the chute and slow its descent. I smell a rat NASA! If you wish to gain any of your lost credibility back,start by not doctoring most of your rover pics.quit blurring out, altering,and covering up everything interesting you find.

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Space Exploration

Volunteer

#### Kenneth Renshaw

##### Expertise

Answer basic space flight questions, research info on specific space flights. Answer questions on astronomy

##### Experience

Amateur astronomer and avid astronomy/space flight fan for 31 years.

Organizations
Official NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador for Arkansas and Missouri (one of about 300 nationwide). (http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/ambassador/profiles/Kenneth_Renshaw.htm)

Publications
Numerous local and area newspapers.

Education/Credentials
AA/BME/MME