SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship returns to Earth
Published : 06 May 2018, 21:30
SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship left the International Space Station Saturday carrying 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms) of gear and prepared to splash down in the Pacific Ocean by mid-afternoon, NASA said.
The white supply vessel detached from the orbiting outpost at 9:23 am (1323 GMT), fired its engines three times and slowly began its journey to Earth.
"Release confirmed," said commentator Rob Navias on NASA TV, noting that separation occurred as the ISS was 256 miles (411 kilometers) above the Earth, passing over just south of Australia.
"Dragon is safely on its way."
A parachute-assisted splashdown is expected off the coast of California around 3 pm (1900 GMT), but will not be broadcast on NASA TV.
The spacecraft is bringing back a host of science experiments, including lab mice that were studied in orbit to see how their bones changed in microgravity.
"Other critical biological samples preserved in science freezers, such as plants, insects and human tissue, have also been transferred into Dragon for retrieval and analysis," said a NASA statement.
SpaceX's Dragon is currently the only cargo ship designed to return to Earth intact. The other US commercial supply ship, Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo carrier, burns up on re-entry to Earth's atmosphere.
The cargo ship arrived April 4 after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with 5,800 pounds (2,600 kilograms) of food, supplies and science experiments to enable the study of thunderstorms, anti-cancer drugs, and technology to remove debris in orbit.
The mission was the 14th for SpaceX under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to resupply the space station over multiple years.
- Most viewed
- Mother, daughter found dead in Bogra
- Khaleda, Tarique directly involved in Aug 21 grenade attack: PM
- PM pays tribute to August 21 grenade attack victims
- 21 April Events
- 21 April Births
- 21 April Deaths
- Weinstein accuser Asia Argento paid teen who made sex assault claim
- Cabinet approves ‘Sarkari Chakori Ain, 2018’
- Pregnant New Zealand minister cycles to delivery ward
- Girls' supremacy finally over
- Saff U-15 girls eye more glory in final today
- Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas are officially engaged
- U-15 girls take on Bhutan in SAFF semi
- SAFF U-15 girls reach final beating Bhutan 5-0
- The 18th Asian Games got off to a glorious start
- Youth found dead at Chattogram hotel
- Caned by headmaster, schoolgirl kills self
- Huma Qureshi didn’t care about working with Khans