VIDEO SPECIAL: SpaceX Splashdown
By SpaceCoastDaily // June 1, 2012
During the reentry of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, NASA and the United States Navy flew a P-3 Orion Cast Glance aircraft to capture airborne views of the spacecraft’s descent.
The aircraft, based at the Navy’s VX-30 squadron at the Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif., was able to record Dragon’s reentry, parachute chute deployment and the capsule in the water. Dragon splashed down at 11:42 a.m. EDT on May 31 in the Pacific Ocean, more than 560 miles off the coast of Baja California. During its mission, Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft the rendezvous and berth with the International Space Station, paving the way for future commercial cargo delivery flights.