Dragon brings cargo from orbit with a splash

Image: SpaceX Dragon
SpaceX’s Dragon pulls away from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean today, carrying more than 3,000 pounds of cargo and science samples back down to Earth from the International Space Station.

NASA’s Kate Rubins and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi worked with the station’s robotic arm to pull the Dragon away from its berth and set it free at 3:11 a.m. PT. “Dragon depart successfully commanded,” Rubins reported.

Mission Control passed along thanks to the crew for their efforts, “and to the Dragon recovery team, fair winds and following seas.”

Over the five and a half hours that followed, SpaceX confirmed that the capsule successfully executed its deorbiting maneuvers and made a parachute-assisted splashdown, about 300 miles southwest of Baja California.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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