Spaceflight Now Home

Dragon entry timeline
Posted: December 6, 2010

NOTE: Times assume a nominal mission of two orbits.

MET 2 hours, 32 minutes Begin De-orbit 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 De-orbit 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 PICA-X.
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