SpaceX Dragon capsule proves it can hover

But can it land?

Edgar Alvarez, @abcdedgar
January 21, 2016
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    SpaceX is never shy to share the latest advancements of those snazzy Crew Dragon capsules, even if things don't always go as planned. Now, Elon Musk's firm is providing details from a test that took place last November at a facility in McGregor, Texas, where the Dragon V2 showed off its incredible propulsive landing features. The trial only lasted about five seconds, but this was more than enough time for the capsule to generate about 33,000 lbs of thrust as it hovered, before returning to a resting position.

    The goal, of course, is to land a manned spacecraft on the ground safely, using force from the Dragon V2's eight SuperDraco engines rather than parachutes. While it is mind-blowing to see these hover powers, the propulsive landing won't be used for missions to the International Space Station -- not initially, at least, according to NASA. Instead, near-future Crew Dragon astronauts are expected to touch down in the ocean, guided by parachutes attached to the capsule.

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