Returning home from more than a month in orbit, a SpaceX Dragon supply ship departed the International Space Station and parachuted into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday with nearly two tons of research specimens and hardware, including mice sent up to investigate how spaceflight affects eyesight and locomotion.
China’s Tianzhou 1 freighter, a pathfinder for regular resupply and refueling trips to the country’s planned space station, wrapped up a series of successful propellant transfer tests with the orbiting Tiangong 2 space lab Saturday and detached from the module for more standalone experiments and a destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship returned to to Earth on Sunday with more than 3,800 pounds of NASA cargo, research specimens and other hardware. The commercial capsule was released from the International Space Station’s robotic arm at 4:40 a.m. EDT (0840 GMT), and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California occurred at approximately 10:15 a.m. EDT (1415 GMT).
Forecasting a future where satellite networks reach into vastly more ships, airplanes, homes and businesses, SES announced Monday it will buy at least seven high-capacity broadband and data relay satellites from Boeing for launch in 2021 into a rarely-used orbit several thousand miles over the equator.
Russian Soyuz commander Alexander Misurkin and two U.S. astronauts — flight engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba — lifted off Tuesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The trio began their six-hour journey to the International Space Station with a launch aboard a Soyuz rocket at 2117 GMT (5:17 p.m. EDT), and docking occurred at 0255 GMT (10:55 p.m. EDT).