A SpaceX Dragon capsule is wrapping up a month-long mission Saturday. The spaceship departed the International Space Station at 9:23 a.m. EDT (1323 GMT), and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at approximately 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) with nearly two tons of experiment specimens and hardware, including a habitat of mice and Robonaut 2, an experimental humanoid robot in need of repairs.
NASA has agreed to consider a Boeing proposal to extend the first piloted test flight of its commercial CST-100 Starliner crew capsule from two weeks to up to six months with an extra crew member for the International Space Station, hedging against potential delays that could jeopardize U.S. crew access to the orbiting outpost.
A commercial Dragon spacecraft glacially approached the International Space Station on Wednesday, allowing a robotic arm controlled by Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai to reach out and grapple the supply ship as it soared 250 miles over Africa, completing SpaceX’s 14th mission to the research complex, and the second by the same capsule.
Two newly arrived space station astronauts, both veteran spacewalkers, suited up and ventured outside the lab complex Thursday to install additional wireless communications gear, to replace a balky camera and its pan-and-tilt mechanism and to remove two suspect hoses in the station’s ammonia coolant system.