I am seeing Life (2017) movie, movie showed ISS dropped escape pod to the land, when it reaches certain height, escape pod release parachute & near the water surface, thrusters got activated.

enter image description here

you can see here six side smoke is coming out;thrusters, if it is landing on water then Why escape pods activates it thrusters?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'd recommend you change you question the same way I suggested earlier. Ask if this would be necessary for a real capsule in reality. Name a few, like Dragon and Soyuz and ask about them, not about a fictitious movie capsule. Or if you want to ask about the movie, ask in movies or scifi stackexchange, not here. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 11, 2017 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ hello @uhoh can you edit it more clear this question, so i can post there, right now it has poor english framing in my post. $\endgroup$
    – The Hawk
    Jun 11, 2017 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ Take your time, but give it a try. Poor english is often allowed/improved here if the question is good. But you should ask about a real capsule, not a movie capsule! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 11, 2017 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


That doesn't look like any landing pod currently in use - at least, I don't recognize the shape.

However, it's quite common to have soft-landing retrorockets on a capsule. Soyuz fires a brief pulse before landing to take the edge off the g-forces on a ground landing. Using retrorockets on a water landing is a bit more uncommon. The Soyuz hasn't tried water landing, AFAIK, so I don't know what the protocol for that would be.

  • $\begingroup$ If you have landing rockets why not fire them even when it's a water landing? $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2017 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ @LorenPechtel Soyuz retrorocket burns are incredibly high-g, very uncomfortable. It may be worse than a splashdown in some cases. $\endgroup$
    – 0xDBFB7
    Jun 11, 2017 at 22:08
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    $\begingroup$ Water isn't much different from solid ground if you hit it fast enough with enough area. I believe there is a question about it over at Physics, but the gist is: the water doesn't have enough time to "get out of the way". $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2017 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ @JörgWMittag I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that most capsules that do not use landing retrorockets can only land in water, because the acceleration would be too high on ground. Soyuz has a landing speed of 8 m/s before retrorockets fire, so it's slow enough that hydrodynamics can occur. $\endgroup$
    – 0xDBFB7
    Jun 11, 2017 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ I can't picture retrorockets that are harsher than the water landing would be without them. $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2017 at 23:18

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