American Mars landers use a single, supersonic main parachute. The European/ Russian ExoMars rover was to use a much more complex 4 parachute system consisting of a drogue, a main and a pilot for each of those.

The parachutes were the primary reason for the two year delay from 2020 to 2022. Why did they decide on this system over a more simple, single parachute?

Image for reference (source): enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Because a single, supersonic parachute is not "simple" - if not done right they have a tendency not to open. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Mar 30, 2023 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ A parachute system is needed that will work from supersonic down to very slow speed and from very low pressure to surface pressure. Deceleration should be neither too small nor too big. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Mar 30, 2023 at 18:26
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    $\begingroup$ @RAD6000 please source the image $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Mar 31, 2023 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ @ErinAnne done, sorry I didn't do it firstly $\endgroup$
    – RAD6000
    Apr 1, 2023 at 1:41
  • $\begingroup$ This is not that complex. Orion has 11 parachutes that deploy in 4 phases. $\endgroup$ Apr 8, 2023 at 11:41


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