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Developed parachute system which is capable of lowering small airplanes safely to the ground - saving 246 lives

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That rockets!

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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts with Langley Research Center helped BRS Aerospace, of Saint Paul, Minnesota, to develop technology that has saved 246 lives to date. The company's whole aircraft parachute systems deploy in less than 1 second thanks to solid rocket motors and are capable of arresting the descent of a small aircraft, lowering it safely to the ground. BRS has sold more than 30,000 systems worldwide, and the technology is now standard equipment on many of the world's top-selling aircraft. Parachutes for larger airplanes are in the works.

Source: http://spinoff.nasa.gov/spinoff/spinitem?title=Rocket-Powered+Parachutes+Rescue+Entire+Planes

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