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Home An early parachute design for the Mars Science Laboratory landing system was tested in October 2007 inside the world’s largest wind tunnel at the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex. In this image, two engineers are dwarfed by the parachute, which measures more than 165 feet in length and opens to a diameter of nearly 55 feet – with only about 12.5 feet of clearance to both the floor and ceiling. (NASA/JPL/Pioneer Aerospace) An early parachute design for the Mars Science Laboratory landing system was tested in October 2007 inside the world's largest wind tunnel at the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex. In this image, two engineers are dwarfed by the parachute, which measures more than 165 feet in length and opens to a diameter of nearly 55 feet – with only about 12.5 feet of clearance to both the floor and ceiling. (NASA/JPL/Pioneer Aerospace)

An early parachute design for the Mars Science Laboratory landing system was tested in October 2007 inside the world’s largest wind tunnel at the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex. In this image, two engineers are dwarfed by the parachute, which measures more than 165 feet in length and opens to a diameter of nearly 55 feet – with only about 12.5 feet of clearance to both the floor and ceiling. (NASA/JPL/Pioneer Aerospace)

An early parachute design for the Mars Science Laboratory landing system was tested in October 2007 inside the world's largest wind tunnel at the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex. In this image, two engineers are dwarfed by the parachute, which measures more than 165 feet in length and opens to a diameter of nearly 55 feet – with only about 12.5 feet of clearance to both the floor and ceiling. (NASA/JPL/Pioneer Aerospace)

An early parachute design for the Mars Science Laboratory landing system was tested in October 2007 inside the world’s largest wind tunnel at the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex. In this image, two engineers are dwarfed by the parachute, which measures more than 165 feet in length and opens to a diameter of nearly 55 feet – with only about 12.5 feet of clearance to both the floor and ceiling. (NASA/JPL/Pioneer Aerospace)

A model of the Space Launch System rocket covered in a thin coat of pink, pressure-sensitive paint is mounted in a wind tunnel at NASA’s Ames Research Center. The high-tech paint acts as a pressure sensor covering the entire surface of the rocket during tests simulating its launch to space. (NASA/Ames Research Center/Dominic Hart)
The Tiltrotor Test Rig, a test bed developed by NASA to study advanced designs for rotor blades, is seen in the 40- by 80-foot test section of the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex in November 2017. (NASA/Ames Research Center/Dominic Hart)