The Dragon returns to the nest

By Phil Plait | October 28, 2012 1:38 pm

As I write this, moments ago, the SpaceX Dragon capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after a two week mission to the International Space Station. Splashdown occurred at 19:22 UTC. Yay!

[UPDATE (20:30 UTC): SpaceX has a picture of the Dragon floating in the Pacific:

Click to ensmaugenate.]

This ends the first operational mission of the Dragon. It’s the first of twelve contracted by NASA to bring supplies up to and back from the ISS. There was no live coverage of the splashdown, unfortunately (and no, I don’t know why; I imagine that’ll come out soon) but NASA did get footage of the Dragin un-berthing from ISS. Here it is, sped up 15x:

I should add the "Enterprise leaving drydock" music from Star Trek II in there.

Anyway, congrats to everyone at SpaceX and NASA. I’ll note that while most of this mission went smoothly, there is still the issue of the engine that failed during launch, resulting in the loss of an ORBCOMM satellite secondary payload. Hopefully SpaceX will discuss this more during the mission wrap-up.

Image credit: SpaceX

Related Posts:

Frankenstorm and the Dragon
SpaceX Falcon 9 lost an engine on the way up; Dragon on its way to ISS
History is made as Dragon splashes down safely in the Pacific!


Comments (14)

  1. MacRat

    Has SpaceX published any estimated timeline for getting the capsule rated for manned flight?

  2. Robin

    SpaceX has said it plans on doing a manned flight in 2015.

  3. Joseph G

    Phil, do dragons even have nests? Lairs, perhaps, but nests would be too flammable for dragons, methinx. Shoot, I’d much rather consider the earth a “lair” then a “nest”. It’ll give any potentially hostile aliens something to think about :)

  4. Elon Musk did this with just a few hundred people? Wow. WOW!

  5. carlos

    wth does “ensmaugenate” means???
    as in: “click to ensmaugenate.]”

  6. arcticspace

    @ carlos:
    It’s a play on ‘Smaug’, the name of a dragon in J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’.

  7. DLC

    Carlos @5 : Smaug is the name of the Dragon in Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

  8. Nigel Depledge

    The BA said:

    I should add the “Enterprise leaving drydock” music . . .

    Wait, I thought it was “spacedock”.

    Is it, or not really?

  9. Old Rockin' Dave

    The music should really be “The Blue Danube Waltz” as played by the Berlin Philharmonic.

  10. Shay

    @Bubba Nicholson, yes an amazing achievement that was built on the shoulders of the great people that laid the foundations via NASA. Let’s not forget that.

  11. carlos

    10x for the explanation :-u


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


See More

Collapse bottom bar