The Splashdown: Rescuing Astronauts from the Command Modules of Spacecrafts
Rescuing ufonauts, I mean astronauts, from your primitive spacecrafts slpashing into the sea is apparently a thing – or at least was a thing – earthlings. But the splashdown is set to make its return, as it is planned for use by the upcoming Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle. As the name suggests, during a splashdown the command module of the spacecraft 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 manned space capsules, which return to Earth over land. The American practice came in part because, as opposed to Russian ones, American launch sites are on the coastline and launch primarily over water. Below is a collection of splashdowns from the history of space travel (by humans).