This is a high-level overview of the components of the SpaceX Dragon 1.
This is a high-level overview of the United Launch Alliance Vulcan launch vehicle.Read more (1 min)
This is a high-level view of the engines and thrusters in the SpaceX Dragon 2.Read more (1 min)
This is the approximate trajectory of the SpaceX Falcon 9 booster during a “return to launch site” landing (i.e. landing on land).Read more (2 min)
This is the predicted trajectory of the engine block on a launch vehicle implementing ULA’s SMART Reuse technology, such as the ULA Vulcan.
My rendition of the Red Dragon capsule as it deploys its trunk in preparation for atmospheric entry, just minutes away.
Launching on a Falcon Heavy from LC-39A at Cape Canaveral no earlier than 2020, the Red Dragon missions will demonstrate powered landings on the Red Planet.
This article is outdated; things have changed since it was written and it is no longer accurate. It is being kept online for reference purposes only.
It’s mid-April 2018, and SpaceX is getting ready to launch a Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket since Energia. This time, though, its payload isn’t another communications or reconnaissance satellite; instead, SpaceX is preparing to launch their first unmanned mission to Mars: the Red Dragon.Read more (4 min)
Note that this profile includes a boostback burn; this profile was used during the launch of CRS-8, among others. It’s not used with heavy payloads, such as some of the larger GTO missions; instead, the booster does not perform a boostback burn and ends up much farther downrange, requiring the ASDS to position itself much farther from shore. The approximate trajectory of a Falcon 9 landing without a boostback burn can be seen here.Read more (2 min)