A commercial Dragon cargo capsule wrapped up a four-week stay at the International Space Station on Monday with a departure from the complex at 12:01 p.m. EDT (1601 GMT). The spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 5:48 p.m. EDT (2148 GMT) with several tons of research specimens and equipment.
With a thundering, sky-lighting predawn blastoff from Cape Canaveral, a Falcon 9 rocket fired into orbit early Saturday with a Dragon cargo capsule in pursuit of the International Space Station. Minutes later, the rocket’s first stage booster fell from the sky and executed a pinpoint propulsive landing just offshore, setting the stage for another resupply mission for NASA this summer using the same vehicle.
While recovery teams continue combing through the test site at Cape Canaveral where SpaceX’s first space-worthy Crew Dragon capsule was destroyed in an explosive accident last month, engineers a few miles away are pressing ahead with the company’s 17th resupply mission to the International Space Station set for launch early Friday.