NASA ground controllers sent commands to the International Space Station on Thursday for release of a 2.9-ton cargo pallet loaded with old batteries, the most massive object ever jettisoned from the orbiting outpost. The garbage carrier is expected to remain in orbit for two-to-four years before re-entering the atmosphere.
A commercial Dragon cargo capsule is heading back to Earth Tuesday to conclude a 31-day stay at the International Space Station. The SpaceX-owned spacecraft was released from the station’s Canadian-built robotic arm at 10:59 a.m. EDT (1459 GMT), and the Dragon supply ship splashed down in the Pacific Ocean with nearly 3,400 pounds of cargo at 4:21 p.m. EDT (2021 GMT).
A SpaceX Dragon supply ship packed with nearly three tons of experiments, crew provisions and supplies will remain on the ground until at least Friday morning to allow more time for NASA flight controllers to troubleshoot a problem with an electrical distribution unit on the International Space Station.
A commercial cargo carrier owned and operated by SpaceX pulled into port at the International Space Station on Monday, three days after launching from Cape Canaveral with a NASA Earth science instrument, a spare hand for the lab’s Canadian robotic arm, and an AI-powered helper bot for the research lab’s six-person crew.