Please select your home edition
Edition
GAC Pindar 2018 Leaderboard

Parachute sea anchor gets a ride into space

by Sail-World Cruising on 11 May 2013
Sea anchor deployed from the bow - not a recommended angle by Zack Smith SW
Popular parachute sea anchor used by many cruising sailors is to be used by NASA's new Orion spacecraft when it returns from its first beyond low Earth orbit flight test next year.

Gary Rohrkaste, United Space Alliance project manager for the Sea Anchor explained, 'Orion will always have a water landing and the Para-Anchor drag chute will be used on all capsule recoveries. The capsule has very little draft and wants to move right along the water. The parachute keeps the capsule from drifting too fast in the water and orients the large module for the rest of the recovery.'

Representatives of Houston-based United Space Alliance, subcontractor to Lockheed Martin on the Orion project, watched testing of the Fiorentino Para-Anchor in the harbor at Long Beach, California before they made the announcement.

Fiorentino's Zack Smith, well known researcher and lecturer on the USA Boat Show circuit, conducted the test involving load strengths and drag characteristics of a six-foot diameter parachute sea anchor, including accessory components of rope, bow shackle and snap shackle, towed by a crewed 100-foot vessel. The test was conducted principally to measure drag characteristics, including force and other critical elements, in evaluating the equipment for its ability to stabilize a space module upon sea impact.

At the end of Orion’s planned 2014 unmanned Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) mission, the 16.5-foot diameter, 18,000 lbs. crew module capsule is expected to splashdown in slight seas (Sea State 3).

Wulf von Eckroth, design engineer with United Space Alliance, noted that two Fiorentino chutes (one for actual use and one for back-up) will be used to stabilize the floating spacecraft crew module. The Fiorentino parachute anchor performed above the 150% requisite load test we required so the test was successful. '

The Orion spacecraft is America’s next human space flight system being developed with capabilities to take astronauts on long-duration, deep space missions beyond low Earth orbit to future destinations like asteroids, the moon and someday Mars. During the 2014 unmanned flight test, Orion will reach an altitude of 3,600 miles over the Earth’s surface, more than 15 times farther away than the International Space Station, and then return for a splashdown. NASA’s currently plans a second unmanned Orion mission in 2017 and a manned mission in 2021.

Zack Smith is a well-known drag device inventor and the head of Fiorentino’s Research and Design Team. Under his guidance, Fiorentino’s team conducted 15 years of sea trials on varying drag devices which resulted in innovative drag device designs and the pioneering 'Constant Rode Tension Theory.'

This theory states that keeping the rode taut through specific rode adjustment, weight placement next to the drag device, and the use of shorter bridles or Fiorentino’s unique free flying riding sail setup are the secrets of successful use of parachute sea anchors and storm drogues.

Smith worked previously with NASA on its Orion project in 2008 and received a NASA Team Achievement Award. He has also done numerous contract projects with the USCG, Navy, NAVSEA and SPAWAR. He recently produced 'The Complete Para-Anchor Set-up, Second Edition DVD which is available at http://www.para-anchor.com/index.html

Fiorentino Para-Anchor has been a leader in education and the development of parachute sea anchors and storm drogues for over fifty years (See http://www.sail-world.com/cruising/usa/Sea-anchor---do-you-know-how-to-use-yours-to-save-your-life?/93884!Sail-World_story). The company concentrates on advanced technical designs and quality materials unmatched in the industry to provide sailors with quality safety products.

Naiad 660x82px_SuperyachtFestival of Sails 2019 v2 FOOTER 1Boat Books Australia FOOTER

Related Articles

90th Stonehaven Cup Regatta to be held in January
The longest continuously contested junior one-design dinghy trophy in Australian yachting In January 2019, Royal Brighton Yacht Club will host the 90th Stonehaven Cup – the longest continuously contested junior one-design dinghy trophy in Australian yachting.
Posted today at 11:29 pm
Australian OK Dinghy Nationals: Two weeks to go
The entry list includes the four most successful Australian OK Dinghy sailors With just two weeks to go before the start of the 57th Australian OK Dinghy Championship, the entry list is looking like a who's who of OK sailing in Australia, with 30 entries so far received.
Posted today at 10:53 pm
American Magic opens Base at Port of Pensacola
A large and protected flat water training venue in Florida New York Yacht Club American Magic, U.S. Challenger for the 36th America's Cup, today announced that the Port of Pensacola will serve as the team's winter training base in late 2018 and early 2019. The team was formed in 2017 to win the America's Cup.
Posted today at 9:59 pm
Record entries for Transpac 50
And a new Corinthian Trophy Race Managers at the Transpacific Yacht Club are pleased to announce that next July's 50th biennial edition of the 2225-mile Transpac race from Los Angeles to Honolulu has set a new record of 82 entries to date.
Posted today at 1:08 pm
GKA Kite-Surf World Tour Torquay, Round 7 day 2
The women battle the elements first! KSWT Race Director Juan Antonio Aragon was out scouring the coastline, checking out the potential of some nearby beaches after today's forecasts had suggested better conditions might be found elsewhere at one of the many kite spots.
Posted today at 12:10 pm
North Sails - Our Gift To You
25% off clothing until 18th December Shop for Christmas gifts with 25% off the North Sails Collection, and get free shipping and free returns. Shop by Tuesday 18th December, and receive your new items before Christmas!
Posted today at 12:00 pm
2018 Sail Melbourne International day 1
No zombie cyclone can stop sailors at Sail Melbourne On the first day of 2018 Sail Melbourne International, Melbourne's weather presented itself from a challenging side with the day starting out in rainy, windy and ever-changing conditions, requiring a lot of patience from sailors and race management alike.
Posted today at 11:10 am
Mr America's Cup gives blessing to new Challenger
Stars & Stripes will once again be on the America's Cup startline in Auckland Auckland and indeed America's Cup fans around the world will once again see the Stars & Stripes team contesting the most prestigious trophy in Sailing. "Mr America's Cup" has given his blessing to the new team representing the Long Beach Yacht Club.
Posted today at 9:56 am
The IMOCA class continues to push forward
2019 looks like being an exciting, action-packed year with six races The IMOCA class held its annual general meeting on Tuesday 11th December in Paris. This gathering enabled the class to present its appraisal of what was a very positive 2018 season coming to a climax with an outstanding edition of the Route du Rhum
Posted today at 9:28 am
Clipper Race crew claims National Yachting Award
Simon DuBois has been announced as Québec Sailor of the Year Quebecan Clipper 2017-18 Race crew member Simon DuBois, who raced around the world on board the Visit Seattle team yacht, has been announced as Québec Sailor of the Year.
Posted today at 7:15 am