Perhaps one of the coolest terrestrial things NASA has done in a while (since non-terrestrial things like escaping the freaking gravity well never lose the ability to be cool) is to set up the AresTV ID on YouTube. They’re posting their quarterly updates on the Ares Project’s progress. For those not already geeking, the Ares is the replacement for the U.S. space shuttle. First test flight is a year from now. Full-on flight operations scheduled for 2015.
In this most recent episode, the seventh, you can see the parachute testing of their reefing (opening) method, otherwise known as Reefing Madness. Also: they do calibration and testing of…The Nozzle.