Live coverage of the countdown and launch of a Vega rocket with the European Space Agency’s Intermediate Experimental Vehicle. Text updates will appear automatically below; there is no need to reload the page. Follow us on Twitter.
A SpaceX Dragon cargo freighter departed the International Space Station Tuesday for return to Earth, wrapping up the 20th and final visit to the orbiting research complex for the current version of SpaceX’s supply ship before an upgraded Dragon starts launching later this year. Release from the space station’s robotic arm occurred at 9:06 a.m. EDT (1306 GMT), followed by splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 2:50 p.m. EDT (1850 GMT).