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- each craft had to hit the atmosphere right, deploy its parachute, turn on retrorockets and inflate airbags just before touchdown
- Because of weight constraints, there was no backup retrorocket engine.
- At 6 minutes 54 seconds after launch, retrorockets were fired.
- Retrorockets on the side of the car slowed the vehicle.
- SA-3 also featured the first use of retrorockets on Apollo hardware.