More on the Falcon 9/Dragon Test Flight

* The Falcon 9 rocket performed nearly flawlessly. The roll attitude was solid through the entire flight. The first stage sep was without impingement.

* The Dragon capsule entered orbit 301×288 on a targeted 300km circular.

* The capsule thrusters were tested on maneuvers similar to what is required for ISS docking.

* 4 Cubesats were successfully released into orbit.

* After separation from Dragon, the Falcon 2nd stage was fired again and placed in an orbit with an 11,000km apogee.

* The capsule re-entry burns were spot on.

* All three parachutes deployed perfectly.

* The capsule came down so close to the recovery ship that they have a good photo of it under the parachutes.

* It was being recovered within 35 minutes of the opening of the drogue chute.

* The heat shield barely got warm. We have now been told that this craft has a heat shield that can handle a free return from the Luna or Mars, i.e. it can be used as an interplanetary vehicle.

* Plans are for the next generation to do powered landings on a helipad sized landing pad.

* The volume and capabilities of Dragon meet or exceed those of the not yet ready for test Orion capsule.

* Today’s mission was so stunningly successful that SpaceX wants to move directly to an ISS flight on the next test. NASA is thinking about it

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