National Affairs: Better Parachute

When an Army paratrooper steps out into space, he knows that the sudden blossoming of his parachute will rattle his bones, strain his joints, and for a breathless moment, make him feel like the popper on a bull whip. At worst, an opening shock snaps a paratrooper so violently that he blacks out, sometimes even causes heavy objects such as hand grenades to burst right through the pockets of his sturdy jump suit.

As airborne forces have adopted faster troop planes, the opening shock has become more & more of a problem. At the Army's...

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