We want a square parachute so we can glide the rocket to a particular landing spot. One interesting idea is having the rocket land on a big air bag (like stunt-men use for jumping out of buildings). Such an air bag could be on land or in the ocean. Differential GPS is accurate enough to land the rocket on the right spot. By having the airbag on the ground the rocket can save the weight of landing gear. We could also have a smaller and lighter parachute since we can tolerate a higher downward velocity.

You can already do parachute simulation on the web.

Click for
Copyright (c) 2002, 2003 by Vincent Cate. All rights reserved.