Splashdown

Method of landing a spacecraft by parachute in a body of water
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Water landings
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9/20/2002
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Splashdown is the method of landing a spacecraft by parachute in a body of water. It was used by crewed American spacecraft prior to the Space Shuttle program, and is planned for use by the upcoming Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle. It is also possible for the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to land in water, though this is only a contingency. The only example of an unintentional crewed splashdown in Soviet history is the Soyuz 23 landing. As the name suggests, the capsule parachutes into an ocean or other large body of water. The properties of water cushion the spacecraft enough that there is no need for a braking rocket to slow the final descent as is the case with Russian and Chinese crewed space capsules, which return to Earth over land. The American practice came in part because American launch sites are on the coastline and launch primarily over water.[citation needed] Russian launch sites are far inland and most early launch aborts were likely to descend on land.[citation needed]
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Splashdown (spacecraft)
Splashdown (spacecraft landing)
Splashed down
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