Mk12-R Radial-Mount Drogue Chute

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Mk12-R Radial-Mount Drogue Chute
Part image
Parachute by
Found lying by the side of the road
Radial size Radial mounted
Cost (total) 150.00 Funds
Mass (total) 0.08 t
Drag 0.22
Max. Temp. 2500 K
Impact Tolerance 12 m/s
Research Survivability.png Survivability
Unlock cost 600 Funds
Since version 1.0
Part configuration parachuteMk12-R
Semi-deploy drag 2
Semi-deploy trigger 0.02 atm
Fully-deploy drag 100
Fully-deploy trigger 2500 m AGL
Max. Temp chute 1100 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 Mk12-R Radial-Mount Drogue Chute is a parachute introduced in version 1.0.


Two of these parachutes are eqivalent to an Mk25 Parachute. Drogue chutes exist to slow a craft down just enough to safely open a standard parachute. They differ from standard parachutes by activating at a much higher altitude and speed, and generating more drag when not fully deployed. They have much less drag than the others when fully deployed, often not enough to prevent a craft from crashing on the surface. That means that in addition to this parachute a second method of braking is always required.

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 partially deployed, and reaches an altitude above the terrain that is set in the tweakable values.

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 500 meters per second. Safe partial deployment speeds are quite a bit higher, and depend on atmospheric pressure.

In reality, any drogue chute should fully deploy before a regular parachute even tries to partially deploy. However, the maximum full deployment altitude for the drogue chute is currently 5000 meters, which is probably below the point where you want to partially deploy your regular parachutes.

Usage Details

In the current version attempting to activate parachutes and a decoupler on the same stage seems to be dangerous. Sometimes the decoupler activates first and then the parachutes do not activate at all.

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


The default .02 partial deployment pressure corresponds to an altitude of around 21000 meters on Kerbin. You need to know through testing whether the atmosphere will have slowed your craft down to 500 or 600 meters per second by this point, to make it safe to partially deploy the drogue chute. If it will take a little longer to slow to a safe speed, then increase this pressure value accordingly.


The default full deployment altitude value for this parachute is 2500 meters, which is just wrong (basically, it's a bug). Always increase it all the way up to 5000 meters - even higher (like 10000) would be better, in future versions.

Product description

The Mk12-R is a half sized radial mount version of the Mk25. This "Drogue" parachute is small, deploys high up, and certainly not enough to stop you smashing into the ground on its own, but useful for slowing craft down before the deployment of your main chutes.


  • Initial release