Dragon's Apollo-esque drogue chutes deployed (NASA)

Awesome Video of a Dragon’s Descent!

Article Updated: 23 Dec , 2015

by


Just in from SpaceX and NASA, here’s a video of the descent of the Dragon capsule on the morning of May 31, 2012.

[/caption]

Taken from a chase plane, the footage shows the spacecraft’s dramatic chute deployment and splashdown into the Pacific at 8:42 a.m. PT, approximately 560 miles southwest off the coast of Los Angeles. The event marked the end of a successful and historic mission that heralds a new era of commercial spaceflight in the U.S.

Read more about the completion of the first Dragon mission here.

Video: NASA

, , , , ,



Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
John van Houten
Guest
John van Houten
June 1, 2012 8:33 PM

How come they splash down in the ocean instead of on land.

Water does not make a much softer landing I would have thought, then there is the possibility of a sinking.

Tony Power
Guest
June 1, 2012 10:00 PM

I’ve often wondered the same myself. The only reason I could come up with was to avoid the possibility of a capsule going off course and landing in a populated area, or that on the off chance that one of the parachutes fails to open, landing in water atleast gives a better chance of survival to the astronauts inside, or perhaps less chance of rolling end-over-end as may happen if they landed on land with toomuch forward momentum

Greg Maynard
Guest
Greg Maynard
June 4, 2012 1:54 AM
A little research turns up the following reasons for NASA using water landing: – Water does cushion the impact significantly meaning that the capsules did not require the additional weight of rockets or airbags for land cushioning, and every bit of wieght was important. – Craft returning from the moon do so at a far greater velocity which could involve greater impact if one of the parachutes failed for example. Two of the Soviet Zond circumlunar craft splashed down in the Indian Ocean. The other two used skip re-entry to slow down and one of those failed to land softly. – NASA was unsure of how accurately their early guidance systems (Mercury) would work so exact landing co-ordinates… Read more »
Tony Power
Guest
June 1, 2012 10:17 PM
If anyone from NASA or SpaceX, or perhaps an engineer knowledgeable in such things is reading and can answer that would be great. As far back as when I saw video of the Apollo missions (No I’m not old enough to have watched the Apollo missions, however my father tells me I watched the first Shuttle launch on TV, I was all of 2 at the time though) I asked my teacher why land in the ocean. She couldn’t give a satisfactory answer. I would have thought that what happened to Liberty 7 would have shocked them out of the landing on water thing. And especially when you consider these are supposed to be reusable capsules, the problems… Read more »
Olaf
Member
Olaf
June 2, 2012 1:03 AM

In the case of Apollo I think it is because they do not require to cross countries to get it back. And the direct incoming trajectory is not restricted to only the US.

delphinus100
Guest
delphinus100
June 2, 2012 1:36 AM
Actually, water is quite a bit more forgiving…but NASA learned the sinking issue early on, with Liberty Bell 7. The Russians have always landed on land, but they were also willing to accept the weight penalty of, in addition to parachutes, landing rockets that ignite at literally the last second before touchdown (triggered by a probe that hangs beneath the descent module) to further soften the landing. For them, landings that crews could literally walk away from, and landing zones that needed just a few trucks and helicopters, were worth it. And even so, Soyuz *can* float. And demonstrated it once, in a landing on a frozen lake. US capsules were always tested for emergency descent to land.… Read more »
Brendan
Guest
June 2, 2012 3:30 AM
I always assumed one of the issues had to do with lack of a precise system for landing with capsules due to the ballistic reentry. It was easier to have a large landing area in the ocean, than on land. More forgiving in terrain and access. Especially if you have access to a giant navy like the US in the 60s. Space shuttle of course was controllable. As with Russia, they didn’t have as large a fleet or were well enough located to large open waters where they’d be free from interference. Similar reasons with the Chinese. With SpaceX, landing on land is coming. It’s just steps at the moment. Something interesting about the early Russian missions is… Read more »
1J2ackBrian
Guest
1J2ackBrian
June 2, 2012 8:50 AM

I’ve often wondered too whether it would be possible at some time in the future, to seek out and fix some sort of parachute/landing device to a carefully selected small asteroid, capture it bring it down to Earth safely, and then examine at leisure.And if appropriate, using the content of that asteroid. Very large asteroids in future could possibly be used as objects to land on and act as staging posts prior to further space exploration. Asteroids could prove the ideal vehicle for those hitchhikers seeking to further their knowledge of the Universe, plus being ideal for large Space observatories and observations of many kinds.

1J2ackBrian
Guest
1J2ackBrian
June 2, 2012 8:52 AM

Second thoughts regarding asteroids, make sure first that you know when to get off, otherwise you might end up in a totally different universe before you know it!

Photon Capturer
Guest
Photon Capturer
June 2, 2012 12:46 PM

I noticed alot of people commenting about the similarity to Apollo programmes and I think its great that a new generation can look at this and where we were then and are now and get a sense of the capabilities that exist. This is a very positive endeavor for our species and one that lives up to our capacity for exploration.

MeyerKaty
Guest
MeyerKaty
June 2, 2012 5:25 PM

m y roomate’s ex-wi fe bro ught h ome $1 9224 the pr evious month. she is making income on the int ernet and m oved in a $ 49 1500 co ndo. A ll sh e di d w as g et luc ky an d tr y th e in structions la id ou t on this w eb p age===>> ?????? http://getitmust.blogspot.com/m

ClarkTommy63
Guest
ClarkTommy63
June 3, 2012 7:27 PM

m y f rie nd’s aun t ma de $17 398 the pr evious we ek. s he is m aking inc ome on the int ern et an d bo ught a $ 57 8000 h ouse. A ll s he di d wa s ge t luc ky an d try the s teps wr itten on th is we bs ite===>> ?????? http://enternet-Job.blogspot.com

DillardCarl92
Guest
DillardCarl92
June 4, 2012 5:24 PM

m y co-wor ker’s si ster g ot p aid $2 1912 t he previo us w eek. s he ge ts pa id on the int ernet and g ot a $ 4168 00 h ouse. A ll sh e di d w as g et for tunate an d pu t in to ac tion the s teps gi ven on t his li nk===>> ?????? http://workoverenternet.blogspot.com

knealy
Member
knealy
June 2, 2012 11:22 PM

Did anyone else notice that the capsule appeared to be burned on one side – carbon deposits?

bugzzz
Member
bugzzz
June 3, 2012 1:36 PM

Success. Very cool. What triggers the release of the second set of chutes?

Aqua4U
Member
June 3, 2012 3:02 PM

I watched the landing live.. it was very exciting! In the original videos I did not see the capsule being dragged on the surface by the still inflated parachute(s). “Hey! Come back here!”

wpDiscuz