SpaceX Dragon shuttle tests parachute landing

When it comes to reusable rockets, the stakes are much higher when landing space shuttles carrying astronauts and SpaceX are taking no chances.

2nd February 2016
SpaceX Dragon shuttle tests parachute landing (YouTube/NASAKennedy)

SpaceX has been busy landing rockets recently, with varying degrees of success, but the stakes are a lot higher when it comes to safely bringing astronauts back to Earth.

So far, the commercial space flight programme, masterminded by Tesla boss Elon Musk, has managed only one successful landing of a reusable rocket, with the last attempt going spectacularly awry, but the Crew Dragon capsule, designed to ferry passengers too and from the International Space Station has recently been making headlines.

After showing the world its eight SuperDraco engines in full flow last week, SpaceX, along with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, has released a video showing how the Crew Dragon’s parachutes would bring the capsule safely back to Earth. Initially the capsule is to land in the ocean, but the plan is to land the crew back on terra firma using those incredible engines we mentioned earlier.

When it comes to reusable rockets, this space race is really hotting up, with Amazon’s New Shepard rocket making a second successful launch only last week.