Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dragon landing

Dragon 2 has 8 SuperDracos in pairs each producing 15,000 lbs of thrust and throttleable to 20% (10% effectively since they are paired.)

Lowest throttle would be 12,000 lbs (4 x 3,000) total. Which is about what the Dragon weighs (landing would be more difficult if it weighed less than minimum thrust. If you didn't contact ground at zero velocity and shut down you'd go up again.) Landing legs should compensate for some imperfection.

From the pad abort test we learn that Dragon has 5 seconds of fuel at full throttle which would last longer at lower throttle settings. We assume it was fully fueled.

It went from zero to 100 mph in 1.2 seconds and reached 345 mph.

What is its terminal velocity in one atmosphere? I don't know. Somehow it would have to slow down enough to land on land, probably in less than a minute. I'd like to see that.

On mars it would make a crater, but SpaceX may bypass the wider red lander (Dragon version 3?) for the MCT. I guess we shall see, when we shall see?

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