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Mk16 Parachute

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Mk16 Parachute
Part image
Parachute by
Found lying by the side of the road
Radial size Tiny
Cost (total) 422.00 Fund
Mass (total) 0.10 t
Drag (stowed) 0.22
Max. Temp. 2500 K
Impact Tolerance 12 m/s
Research Start.png Start
Unlock cost Fund
Since version 0.7.3
Part configuration parachuteMk1
Semi-deploy drag 1
Semi-deploy trigger 0.04 atm
Fully-deploy drag 500
Fully-deploy trigger 1000 m AGL
Max. Temp chute 650 K
Testing environments
On the surface × No
In the ocean × No
On the launchpad × No
In the atmosphere ✓ Yes
Sub orbital × No
In an orbit × No
On an escape × No
Docked × No
Test by staging ✓ Yes
Manually testable × No

The Mk16 Parachute module is primarily used to slow the descent of command modules; like all parachutes it can be used to slow any part.


This parachute performs almost identically to an Mk2-R Radial-Mount Parachute, even though it looks a lot bigger when deployed.

All parachutes currently have four activation stages: unactivated, activated, partial deployment, and fully deployed. A parachute becomes activated when it is staged, or when the "deploy" button is clicked and the craft is in flight, or it is triggered through an action group -- the parachute's icon will turn green, but nothing else will happen at that point. Parachutes can be activated only on a craft that has some kind of command unit, so it is sometimes important to activate them before they get decoupled from the main craft.

A parachute will automatically go into partial deployment mode if it is activated and then descends below the atmospheric pressure set in its tweakable values. It will automatically go into full deployment if it is already activated, and reaches an altitude above the terrain that is set in the tweakable values.

Mk16, while very similar parameter-wise to Mk2-R, takes a significantly longer time to expand from partial to full deployment. That means, if the craft descends at terminal speed (around 200m/s) the altutude of 500m, safe for deployment of Mk2-R, will result in a crash on Mk16, so it's better to set deployment altitude of MK16 higher, or use drogue chutes.

Right-clicking on the parachute (or looking at the parachute's icon) will give you information on whether the parachute is likely to survive being partially or fully deployed at the craft's current speed. On Kerbin, this parachute can always safely fully deploy at a speed of around 255 meters per second. Safe partial deployment speeds are slightly higher, and depend on atmospheric pressure.

Partial deployment provides a "drogue-like" effect that will hopefully keep your craft falling at a safe medium speed until the parachute fully deploys.

Usage Details

In prior versions, attempting to activate parachutes and a decoupler on the same stage was dangerous. Sometimes the decoupler activated first and then the parachutes would not activate at all.

It is almost always useful to tweak the tweakable values on these parachutes.


The default .04 partial deployment pressure corresponds to an altitude of around 17000 meters on Kerbin. At that altitude a parachute will have almost no effect, and your craft will probably continue to accelerate down to an altitude of 10000 meters - usually destroying your parachute. So keeping this default value is only useful if you intend to manually deploy your parachute at a particular moment.

The safe partial-deployment speed is only a littler higher than the safe full-deployment speed. So if you are using an automatic deployment, you want to set the pressure tweakable all the way up to .75 (which corresponds to an altitude of 2000 meters on Kerbin). This setting ensures that the craft will be moving as slow as possible when the parachute deploys, to avoid destroying the parachute. Your altitude setting (below) will ensure that the parachute deploys before hitting any terrain.


The Mk16 parachute transitions from partial to full deployment very slowly. So your craft may easily fall another 600 meters while the parachute is opening, and it is almost always best to leave this value set at the default value of 1000 meters.

Product description

The Mk16 Parachute might be considered by some to be little more than a random stitching together of the surplus parts it is, in fact, made from. But the fact remains that the Mk16 has been widely accepted as a generally better alternative to being in freefall.



  • (part rebalancing) Changed weight from 0.3 to 0.1, and fully deployed drag from 55 to 500.
  • (undocumented) Parachutes can now be radially attached. (previously they could only be placed on nodes)
  • Parts now have an ActivatesEvenIfDisconnected parameter on the cfg to allow them to be activated after jettisoning
  • Fixed parachutes not deploying if not set to the last stage. (they can still deploy when jettisoned)
  • Parachutes now have a 'useAGL' parameter. If that's enabled, it will deploy when it reaches deploy altitude from ground level
  • (undocumented) Parachutes no longer deploy outside of the atmosphere
  • Parachutes can now deploy automatically if jettisoned along with other parts (allowing for parts to be safely landed)
  • Added some sound effects for the parachute opening
  • Added cfg-definable parameter for parachute autodeployment delay
  • Initial release