Watch NASA Break a Speed Record in This Mars Parachute Test

NASA is preparing technology for use on its Mars 2020 rover mission, due to land on the Red Planet in February 2021 — and it’s breaking world records along the way.

Landing on Mars is notoriously challenging because of the planet’s thin atmosphere, which makes it difficult to slow down a spacecraft enough to land gently on its surface. In order to land their heaviest yet rover on Mars, NASA had to redesign an existing landing-parachute design — the same one that protected the Curiosity rover — with even stronger materials, including the Kevlar traditionally found in bulletproof vests.

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