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Video: Soyuz TMA-17 Terra Firma Dustdown!

 This short video is pretty interesting to watch as the Soyuz TMA-17 mission returned to Earth on June 2nd 2010.  Onboard was Russian Cosmonaut and mission commander Oleg Kotov, along with NASA Astronaut and flight engineer Timothy Creamer and Japanese JAXA Astronaut and flight engineer Soichi Noguchi.  They were returning from over 5 months at the International Space Station.

 What I really like about the video is you can clearly see the retro blast that takes place just before the capsule impacts the ground.  A little research indicated that this blast decreases the rate of descent significantly before the actual earth impact brings the journey to a full and complete stop.  This breaks the overall impact into two separate jolts that are much easier on the body.

 I can't help but wonder how hard the impact is tho if the retro fails to fire... looks like I need to do a liitle more research : )


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