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Can parachutes break?


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I haven't had this problem before because I have added a lot of parachutes to my craft. Now I have a bunch of crew cabins to carry space tourists (thanks to those who told me how to) and a payload bay. I have filled up the payload bay and I don't want to add another one. So I put the rest of my science experiments and batteries on the command pod. It was so crowded that I couldn't add all five parachutes that I used to have. I did add symmetry, but I was wondering if parachutes break (if I just use two for a whole bunch of weight). I use the radical parachutes. If they do break, how much tons can they hold? Thanks

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The way the game works, parachutes can fail ("break") if you activate them while you are moving too fast. Otherwise they will not break. But if you have too much weight compared to how many parachutes you have, they may not slow you down enough!

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16 minutes ago, Cant think of a username said:

if parachutes break (if I just use two for a whole bunch of weight).

No.  Having excessive weight on your parachutes won't break them.

What will happen, instead, is that they simply won't slow you down as much.  For example, if you put a Mk16 parachute on a Mk1 command pod and that's basically your whole craft-- i.e. under 1 ton weight-- then when you're coming in for a landing on the parachute, your descent speed will be something under 10 m/s and is quite safe.  But if you had, say, a 100-ton craft, and still only had a single Mk1 parachute, it wouldn't break the parachute-- but you'd be falling a lot more than 10 m/s, since you've got so much more weight pulling it down.

So, you shouldn't need to worry about breaking the parachutes, but you might be descending on them faster than you'd like.  If it's too fast, you could have a destructive crash instead of a safe "soft" landing.  (If you have any engine thrust available as you come in for a landing, you could use that to cushion it right before landing-- that's what I usually do on Duna, where the air is thin enough that ships tend to fall fairly quickly unless they spam a whole bunch of parachutes.)

Note that it is technically possible to break a parachute, if they fully deploy when the vehicle is going too fast.  However, in practice this is generally not a problem, because many KSP versions ago, they added a feature where parachutes have a built-in safety feature by default:  they know when the ship is going slow enough to safely open, and will wait until then to open all the way.  So that's generally not something you need to worry about.

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I've ripped them off once.  It was while testing an Eve lander that was supposed to use a combination of thrust and drogues to land.  I decelerated to a point where the drogues could deploy, then I shut off my engines.  The fuel-laden lander plummeted and accelerated and then all the chutes went poof.  A few seconds later, the lander went poof.

If you are solely relying on chutes to land then it shouldn't be a problem, though.

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14 hours ago, RoninFrog said:

I've ripped them off once.  It was while testing an Eve lander that was supposed to use a combination of thrust and drogues to land.

I was just about to mention that in response to @Snark's post. But that is more a feature of Eve and not something that you need to worry about on Kerbin. (Eve finds lots of different ways for making your craft go boom.;))

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