Landing humans on Mars would be cool… right? Well, not without a parachute it wouldn’t be. The Material Science lab at Arizona State University is currently testing parachute materials for a variety of applications. My project will focus specifically on understanding and testing various textile fabric as structural materials for diverse applications in aerospace and civil engineering. For example, kevlar fabric and steel are both considered “strong” in their own right, as the two materials have very different physical and internal properties. Both materials, however, can be tested in ways that apply tensile or compressive forces, introducing varying levels of stress and strain within the material. Material scientists use stress and strain tests to gain a deeper understanding of how and when a material will reach failure. Knowing when an object will fail gives the physical limitations and safe applications in any structure. I will contribute by helping out in the lab in testing and development. This project will allow me to gain lab and team experience, as well as work on NASA-funded research with an end goal of finding a fabric, or a combination of fabrics, that can withstand the stress-levels required to land heavier payloads (like people) on the Red Planet.