SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft splashes into Pacific

Carla Harmon
March 20, 2017

The capsule left the space station after being released by Expedition 50 astronauts Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Shane Kimbrough of NASAusing a robotic arm right on schedule, at 5:11 a.m Sunday.

The Dragon has now returned back to Earth, splashing into the Pacific Ocean during the process.

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket is prepared for a launch to the International Space Station February 17, 2017 at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on LC39A, one of the renovated Space Shuttle launch pads that SpaceX leases from NASA. A five-hour trip back into Earth's sky included a deorbiting burn, along with the explosion of extra weight in the form of junk it was carrying, and then the capsule splashed down in the Pacific ocean at around 7:48 PT. SpaceX typically returns those capsules through Long Beach. Though its rendezvous with the International Space Station was briefly delayed, the craft eventually docked and its contents were unloaded by the ISS crew. The Dragon capsule contains blood samples and other sensitive scientific materials that must be transported to various NASA labs.

Innumerable types of space research are being conducted on the ISS.

Few biological studies which are underway as the ISS and whose data the spacecraft has brought includes analysis of the effect of microgravity on the stem cells. It will also offer an insight into the spread of cancer in the body and ways to treat it.

The Dragon was SpaceX's tenth cargo delivery mission for NASA under the terms of the contract.

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