SpaceX Dragon Splashdown Perfect After ISS Mission

By  //  May 18, 2014

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carrying NASA science samples and cargo

UPDATE: MAY 18, 3:30 p.m.

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 3:05 p.m. Sunday about 300 miles west of Baja California, marking the end of the company’s third contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 3:05 p.m. EDT Sunday about 300 miles west of Baja California, marking the end of the company’s third contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. (NASA.gov image)

The craft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 3:05 p.m. EDT Sunday. (NASA.gov image)

A boat will carry the Dragon spacecraft to a port near Los Angeles, where it will be prepared for a return journey to SpaceX’s test facility in McGregor, Texas, for processing.

Some cargo, including a freezer packed with research samples collected aboard the space station, will be removed at the port in California and returned to NASA within 48 hours.

ORIGINAL POST: May 16, 2014

Dragon Set To Splash Down  With NASA Science Samples

After leaving the space station, the capsule will splashdown in the Pacific Ocean carrying more than 3,500 pounds of NASA science samples and cargo.

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio works on the Antibiotic Effectiveness in Space-1 (AES-1) investigation during Expedition 38 aboard the International Space Station. (NASA.gov image)

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio works on the Antibiotic Effectiveness in Space-1 (AES-1) investigation during Expedition 38 aboard the International Space Station. (NASA.gov image)

Dragon is set to be detached from the Earth-facing side of the station’s Harmony module and unberthed through commands sent by robotic ground controllers at mission control in Houston operating the Canadarm 2 robotic arm.

Dragon then will be maneuvered into place for its release scheduled for approximately 9:25 a.m.

Dragon will execute three thruster firings to move away from the station to a safe distance for its deorbit burn at 2:10 p.m.

Dragon will splash down around 3:05 p.m. in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California. Neither the deorbit burn nor the splashdown will be broadcast on NASA TV.

SpaceX Dragon's third operational mission will end May 18 after a month-long stay at the International Space Station. The unmanned spacecraft will return more than 1,600 pounds of science materials from the orbital outpost. (NASA.gov image)

SpaceX Dragon’s third operational mission will end May 18 after a month-long stay at the International Space Station. The unmanned spacecraft will return more than 1,600 pounds of science materials from the orbital outpost. (NASA.gov image)

Dragon is the only space station resupply spacecraft designed to return to Earth intact. Among the 3,563 pounds of return cargo are science samples from human research, biology and biotechnology studies, physical science investigations and education activities. The spacecraft also will return crew supplies, vehicle hardware and spacewalk equipment.

Dragon was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 18 on the company’s third contracted commercial resupply mission to the station. Dragon arrived to the space station on April 20 with approximately 5,000 pounds of supplies aboard.

When the Dragon spacecraft splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, it will carry with it more than 1,600 pounds of scientific supplies.

These supplies include samples from biology, biotechnology and physical science investigations, as well as human research.

David Klaus

David Klaus

“We intend to further corroborate these early findings and conduct more in depth genetic assays of the returned samples to get a better understanding of what might be responsible for this outcome,” said AES-1 principal investigator David Klaus, Ph.D., of BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

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