UNITED STATES: On Saturday, August 20, a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship carrying tonnes of scientific equipment from the International Space Station made its way back to Earth with an ocean splashdown.
After barely more than a month onboard the space station, the unmanned Dragon spacecraft successfully splashed down off the coast of Florida at precisely 2:53 p.m. EDT (1953 GMT).
SpaceX announces the successful endeavour of Dragon
Today, SpaceX announced the successful splashdown of Dragon, concluding its 25th cargo resupply trip to the space station via a mission update on Twitter. The corporation opted not to stream or photograph the spacecraft’s splashdown in real-time.
SpaceX added in a second tweet: “Once Dragon has been retrieved by SpaceX’s recovery team, the critical science aboard the spacecraft will be transported via helicopter to @NASAKennedy and provided to researchers.”
On July 14, SpaceX launched the Dragon’s SpaceX-25 mission from KSC; two days later, the spacecraft landed at the station. Science experiments, crew supplies, and other essential cargo totaling 5,800 pounds (2,630 kilogrammes) were transported to the station.
The Dragon spacecraft left the space station on Friday, preparing to land on Earth on Saturday, carrying around 4,000 pounds (1,815 kg) of scientific equipment. The cargo contained the outcomes of numerous experiments conducted on the station, which were eagerly awaited by scientists.
Under a multibillion-dollar contract with NASA, SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft are unmanned variations of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and are intended to transport supplies to and from the International Space Station. Sierra Nevada Space Systems has also been selected to provide similar services to NASA with its upcoming Dream Chaser space plane.
Sierra Nevada Space Systems and SpaceX are the two American companies currently operating resupply missions to the space station (Northrop Grumman is the other with the Cygnus spacecraft).
Regular cargo delivery missions are also carried out by Russia’s robotic Progress spacecraft; in the past, the European Space Agency and Japan have also launched their own cargo aircraft.
The Expedition 67 crew, which consists of seven astronauts, is currently stationed aboard the space station. Three Americans, three Russians, and one European make up the crew. On its Crew-4 mission for NASA, SpaceX launched four of those astronauts on a Crew Dragon.
In September, SpaceX will launch NASA’s Crew-5 crew to the space station.
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