Paracord (also 550 paracord, Parachute cord, or 550 cord) is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope, typically measures 5/32 inches (4 mm) in diameter, originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II. Since, Hikers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts adopted its use for "survival" situations. Utilizing several feet of paracord, the rope is woven into a compact and wearable form; meant to be unraveled when one needs rope for whatever unforeseen purpose may arise.
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This versatile cord was even used by astronauts during STS-82, the second Space Shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Despite the historic association of pararopes with Airborne units, virtually all US Military units have access to the cord. It is used in almost any situation where light cordage is needed. The braided sheath has a high number of interwoven strands for its size, giving it a relatively smooth texture. The all-nylon construction makes paracord fairly elastic; depending on the application this can be either an asset or a liability.
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