Atmosphere/space question

Why wouldn’t some sort of massive (I mean, square kilometers…) parachute type device work to prevent the shuttle from entering at such collosal speeds? Is it even possible? What would the different layers of the atmosphere do, and why can’t the shuttle enter with an angle of less drag?



The stresses on such a large craft moving at 17,000 MPH would be so huge, the ship would be pulled apart even if it were possible to make a chute capable of handling the enormous pressures that would build up under it when it was deployed. Besides a kilometer-square chute would have to be VERY thin to be able to be packed into a space small enough not to be intrusive. I doubt any material currently known or likely to be developed any time soon would be strong enough to handle it.