SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft came back to Earth on Friday after completion of its mission of supplying cargo to the International Space Station. The Dragon left the ISS shortly after 12:30 p.m. EDT and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at around 06:15 p.m. EDT, taking almost 6 hours to reach the Earth. The Dragon capsule was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on June 29 and landed at the space station on July 2.
A recovery team is on the move to recover the capsule which has more than 3800 pounds of cargo which includes the analytical results which it has brought back to the Earth. The Dragon capsule shipped approx. 6000 pounds of food and other research equipment to the ISS without any crew. This mission was the second resupply mission for the Dragon cargo spacecraft and 15th mission for SpaceX in collaboration with NASA. The Dragon was previously used for a mission in 2016.
SpaceX’s founder and CEO, Elon Musk believes that such reusable spaceships are of great importance and will be very helpful to reduce the expenses of future space missions which will further enable the company to take fearless steps in space tours without considering much about the cost involved.
On Friday, NASA announced names of the nine astronauts who will fly in the first manned space flight missions of Dragon in the United States. NASA has signed multi-billion-dollar contracts with Boeing and SpaceX to create these manned spaceships so that it can be ready for its manned test flight to the International Space Station in April 2019.