I have build a simple rocket to bring 2 tourists into space. The final stage consists of, a a MK1 Command Pod, a MK1 Crew Cabine, a small heat shield, and an MK16 Parachute. After flying a few minutes over 70k it will return into atmosphere in a low angle. When steered by a pilot (lvl1) I managed to splash down sucessfully. But I heard some strange explosion sounds while slowing down inside the atmosphere.

What are those explosions?

When steered by an engineer (I want to gain some XP), I could not prevent a crash. The parachute is deploying without my input at high speed. This breaks it a few seconds later.

Why is the parachute deployed at high speed?

Today I will try to slow down my capsule by attaching a few wings to it. A bigger heat shield is also an option but I haven't researched it yet. And I guess it will slow down the small rocket massively when climbing.

Do I have any other options?

  • 2
    A screenshot of your craft and your staging chart would help investigate. Feb 16, 2016 at 10:34
  • I don't think the engineer needs to be "driving" to get XP, just present - so you could make the engineer a passenger if you have a spare seat. Nov 14, 2017 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


Parachutes are activated through staging. It is possible to activate the stage with a parachute before having enough air-pressure to make it deploy. In that case the parachute will be in an "armed" state and deploy as soon as the air-pressure is reached.

It is possible that you have your parachutes on one stage with your upper-stage engines. The moment you activate the stage you also activate your parachutes and put them in the "armed" state, causing them to deploy as soon as you re-enter the atmosphere. Unfortunately I am not aware of any way to disarm an already armed parachute.

To prevent this from happening, put your parachutes on an own stage with nothing else on it and be careful to not press space too often. Another method is to right-click on the parachute-part and increase the "Min Pressure" at which the parachute opens to prevent it from opening too early (this can be done in-flight even when the parachute is already armed, but not yet deployed).

Regarding the explosion sound you are hearing: This is just speculation, but could it be some protruding part which is not protected by the heat-shield and explodes due to atmospheric friction?

  • Unfortunately I am not aware of any way to disarm an already armed parachute. Right click on the parachute, and click "disarm", IIRC Nov 14, 2017 at 8:47

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