Dragon Readies for Return to Earth

Dragon Readies for Return to Earth

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is getting ready to return to Earth tomorrow, Sunday, October 28.   It will signal the end of the first operational commercial cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Dragon was launched on its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS)-1 mission on October 7, 2012.  The launch experienced an anomaly that led to the loss of an Orbcomm test satellite, but the Dragon portion of the mission proceeded unimpeded.  It was berthed to ISS on October 10, delivering 882 pounds of supplies to the ISS crew (other reports rounded that off to “about 1,000 pounds” but NASA now is using this more precise number).

Tomorrow it will return 734 pounds of results from scientific experiments and 504 pounds of ISS hardware NASA wants back on the ground.  Dragon is expected to be released from the ISS tomorrow at 6:25 am PT (9:25 am ET) and splash down in the Pacific at 12:20 pm PT (3:20 pm ET).

The unberthing and splashdown will be carried live on NASA TV.

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