Florida fisherman catches parachutes and capsule door from SpaceX crew capsule

In memory of Virgil Ivan Grissom, I salute you!


Yea, screw that guy. I produce no garbage or pollution in my daily life and here he is trashing the world.

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He’s a Florida Fishing Man. Different genus.

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For what it is worth, I think the hatch could have “just blown”. The Mercury capsule was an experimental vehicle. Water could have gotten in and shorted out a circuit.

Considering what they were flying, all the pilots were lucky to get out alive.


Or maybe in this case it’s rocket science. 'Cause sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Looks like @glenblank is correct. This is not the crew hatch, but the hatch covering the main parachute compartment (see image below). The drogue chutes deploy from the top hatch (where it says SpaceX), then it looks like the parachute hatch and parts of the skin around the crew hatch blow out to release the mains.


Presumably the docking adapter is under the dome at the top, which is why the parachutes have to be near the base of the capsule.

edit (hours later):

Occurred to me that NASA might not want the explosive devices for the parachutes to be anywhere near the docking adapter, because that would put them near the ISS, constituting a hazard. So you put them at the base, with the parachute risers behind pop off panels.

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SpaceX are littering the ocean a quite bit less than almost every other rocket out there, because they’re soft landing most of the rocket for reuse.
Most rockets just drop into the sea (or on Kazakhstan or Sichuan in the case Russia or China respectively).

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Ironically that is what ultimately killed him. The Apollo 1 emergency hatch was too secure and difficult to open (overcompensating for Grissom’s Mercury experience). When the fire broke out, he couldn’t get out in time.

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Yes, that’s it exactly. :slightly_smiling_face:

Those are great pix for illustration. I couldn’t for the life of me find one of the returned Crew Dragon that showed the side with the parachutes.

Here’s a helpful diagram from Wikimedia Commons:

Figure of Crew Dragon viewed from the front and both sides
A Crew Capsule (pressurized portion)
B Crew Capsule (non-pressurized service module)
C Trunk

1 Thermal shield
2 SuperDraco engine nozzles (4 × 2)
3 Solar panels
4 Draco engine nozzles (4 × 4)
5 Hinged cone protecting the mooring system at the space station
6 Hatch for pilot parachutes
7 Crew hatch
8 Hatch for the 4 main parachutes
9 Sheath for cables and pipes connecting the trunk and the crew capsule
10 Radiators
11 Umbilical socket used on the launch pad
12 Stabilizing fins in case of ejection at launch
13 Portholes|

Giuseppe De Chiara 1968, Pline [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

#6 is the cover for the drogue mortars (the two small circular openings near the top in the pic) and the riser stowage (the small rounded rectangle between the two circles). #8 is the main-chute compartment cover, which is what the fishermen recovered, still attached to the drogues.

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Correctamundo! :slightly_smiling_face:

The mains are in the base because that’s the only place outside the pressure vessel but inside the aeroshell where there’s enough room for them. The drogues were in the base as well in the Cargo Dragon, but the Crew Dragon’s Superdraco abort/landing engines take up a lot of space, but the docking adapter is somewhat smaller than the Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) that Cargo used, so now there’s room up top for the drogues.

Here’s what the Dragon pressure vessel looks like before it’s hidden under the aeroshell:

Nope, that’s not it. Only thing resembling explosives is the drogue mortars, and they’ve moved them right next to the docking collar for the Crew version. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Though I don’t know what powers the drogue mortars. SpaceX is rather famously noted for avoiding pyrotechnics wherever possible, so the mortars may be pressurized cold gas. I know the Orion system uses cold-gas mortars, so I suspect Spacex might also.)

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