SpaceX Dragon capsule splashes down, bringing space samples back to Earth

Credit: geekwire.com

SpaceX’s Dragon capsule floats toward a Pacific Ocean splashdown. (SpaceX Photo)

SpaceX’s robotic Dragon capsule brought tons of cargo back down to Earth from the International Space Station today, in a trip that ended with a Pacific Ocean splashdown.


The trip began early today when astronauts used the station’s robotic arm to pull the Dragon away from its port and position it for the automated descent.


Over the past few weeks, the crew unloaded about 5,500 pounds of scientific experiments and supplies from the capsule, which arrived nearly a month ago, and loaded it back up with research samples and other cargo destined for return.


The payloads added up to almost as much mass as the Dragon brought up.


French astronaut Thomas Pesquet documented the Dragon’s departure in a series of tweets:



Today we said good bye to #Dragon! She is taking part of us back to ground with her – important scientific samples, some from the crew! pic.twitter.com/faJUMrmDf1


— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) March 19, 2017



It has become somewhat of a tradition with all the visiting vehicles recently: please bear with us for the requisite selfie ;) pic.twitter.com/3IIvopS4Ee


— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) March 19, 2017



Dragon waiting to be released, above the dunes of Namibia


Le #Dragon prêt à être relâché, au-dessus des dunes de Namibie pic.twitter.com/z2bkIBPokS


— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) March 19, 2017



#Dragon and #Soyuz facing each other on the @Space_Station. Different technology, different language, same goal – return to Earth! pic.twitter.com/lSK7hFRBbP


— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) March 19, 2017



Quelques minutes après sa relâche, le #Dragon redevient livré à lui-même, prêt à affronter une rentrée atmosphérique flamboyante

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