Science

SpaceX Dragon Splashes Down In Pacific After Leaving Space Station

NPR | Sept. 17, 2013 11:11 a.m.

Contributed By:

Scott Neuman

Image provided by NASA-TV showing the SpaceX Dragon after its detachment from the International Space Station early Tuesday.

Image provided by NASA-TV showing the SpaceX Dragon after its detachment from the International Space Station early Tuesday.

Associated Press, NASA-TV

The Dragon has landed.

The unmanned cargo capsule built by the private firm SpaceX splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after delivering the goods to the International Space Station.

“SPLASHDOWN! At 9:34am PT [12:34 p.m. ET], Dragon splashed down safely in the Pacific. Welcome home!” SpaceX tweeted.

Space.com says the Dragon deposited about 1,200 pounds of equipment, supplies and scientific instruments aboard the ISS and returns with more than twice as much cargo, “including a set of LEGO toys that have been on the station for the last two years. The equipment will be returned to NASA as soon as recovery teams return the Dragon capsule to dry land.”

SpaceX has a $1.6 billion deal for the Dragon to resupply the station now that NASA’s Space Shuttle has been retired. The mission that ended on Tuesday was the second of 12 contracted with the space agency. The first launch took place in March. (link)

The Associated Press says the unmanned capsule that returned on Tuesday:

“… will be shipped to Los Angeles and then trucked to Texas for unloading.” and that “Mechanical trouble delayed the capsule’s arrival at the space station by a day, and bad weather at mission’s end kept it in orbit an extra day.”

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