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How Does a Parachute Work?

Physics | 9-13 yrs | Video, Animation

How do Parachutes Work?

A parachute is a device used to slow down an object that is falling towards the ground.

There are two forces acting on the falling person:

  1. Gravity (Upwards)
  2. Air resistance (Downwards)

Without a parachute, the gravity is more than air resistance. However, as the parachute opens, the air resistance increases. Now, air resistance is more than gravity.

This slows down the parachute and the person can land safely on the ground.

For more such interesting Physics videos and articles visit our Physics for Kids category.


  1. This video was very helpful for our parachute project. It inspired me to become a physics master of the universe. I love physics!!!!!@!!!!!!!!! ((:

  2. Thank you very much this helped me with my gravitational pull essay. I got full marks and thanks again!

  3. Thanks, John. Air resistance increases when the parachute spreads out, slowing the parachute down.

  4. Thanks, Alisha! We only have a couple of videos in each issue. Meanwhile you can check out our fun content on Mocomi, that is often longer 🙂

  5. Video is a great way for explaining things. This however is a bit confusing: if air resistance is more than gravity then the parachute should rise up and not fall down?