In case you've missed the news today:

The return to Earth completes a historic first mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by a privately operated vehicle.

Impact with the water was confirmed at 08:42 Pacific Daylight Time (15:42 GMT; 16:42 BST).

Fast boats positioned in the splashdown zone were despatched to recover the unmanned capsule.

Early data suggested Dragon came down very close to its targeted location about 900km (560 miles) from the Baja Peninsula.

SpaceX re-entry:

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  • C'mon Monroe!  Crack on with that Arduino coding...  It's easy peasy! ;)

  • It was interesting to watch the test phase unfold & compare it to our own work.  All the aspects of position sensing, attitude hold, & communication were the same ones encountered by the UAV hobbyist.


    Their accuracy was the same as UAV hobbyists: 1 meter.  You could see it overshoot the distance targets, then oscillate around the target distance, but never exactly hit it.   Instead of fixed velocity, their numbers floated around, just like the real thing.

    As they got closer to the station & enabled more accurate instruments than GPS, the thrusters burned like crazy.  The LIDAR caught stray reflections from windows & had to be hacked, as usual.  The FLIR didn't work & needed some hacking, as usual.  The hold button got a workout.

    We all imagine spacecraft being perfectly simulated to burn exactly the right amount of propellant to achieve exactly the right movement, but Dragon looked like it was over correcting a lot.

  • Yay! NASA has successfully handed the keys to space, into the hands of a private corporation.  Will they rename SpaceX to Weyland Industries, after this? ;-)

  • I was otherwise occupied, so thanks for posting!

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