Some things in life have to work the first time, and every time. A parachute, for instance.
So if you were a NASA scientist, and you had to parachute a rover down on the surface of Mars, to go exploring…
…what would you trust to land it there safely? A supersonic parachute made from petrochemicals, of course.
Specifically, you’d want butadiene or benzene and xylene in your chemistry set. And those are the ingredients that go into making this supersonic parachute…
(Photo from SF Gate)
Want to see the supersonic parachute successfully in action (on Earth), check this video from its creator, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
To see the parachute in action on Mars though, you’ll have to wait till 2020.