

Dragon entry timeline
SPACEFLIGHT NOW Posted: December 6, 2010
NOTE: Times assume a nominal mission of two orbits.
MET 2 hours, 32 minutes 
Begin Deorbit Burn 
The Dragon spacecraft's Draco thrusters begin firing to slow the vehicle's velocity, allowing it to drop from its orbit 186 miles above Earth. 

MET 2 hours, 38 minutes 
End Deorbit Burn 
The Draco thrusters finish their lengthy firing to drop the ship from orbit. 

MET 2 hours, 58 minutes 
Entry Interface 
The Dragon spacecraft falls into the upper reaches of the atmosphere and heat begins to build to between 3,000 and 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit beyond a thermal shield made of PICAX. 

MET 3 hours, 9 minutes 
Deploy Drogue Chutes 
Two drogue stabilizing parachutes deploy at an altitude of 45,000 feet to begin slowing the spacecraft. 

MET 3 hours, 10 minutes 
Deploy Main Chutes 
Three main parachutes unfurl at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Each parachute is 116 feet in diameter. 

MET 3 hours, 19 minutes 
Splashdown 
The Dragon spacecraft lands in the Pacific Ocean about 500 miles west of Mexico. Recovery boats are positioned to retrieve the floating capsule. 

Data source: SpaceX




