SpaceX CRS-3 Dragon Returns to Earth

SpaceX CRS-3 Dragon Returns to Earth

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 3:05 pm Eastern Daylight Time (12:05 pm Pacific) on May 18, bringing the company’s third operational International Space Station (ISS) cargo mission to a close except for returning the cargo to NASA.

Dragon brought 3,563 pounds of cargo back to Earth, including the results of scientific experiments conducted aboard the ISS.

Neither NASA nor SpaceX provided live TV coverage of the reentry and splashdown, with occasional tweets by SpaceX the only information available.   According to SpaceX, everything went fine.

NASA says that the “precious cargo” is to be extracted from Dragon and returned to Johnson Space Center in less than 48 hours.

Dragon was launched by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on April 18 and arrived at the ISS on April 20 delivering 2,500 pounds of supplies, equipment and scientific gear.  It was unberthed from the ISS using Canadarm2 at 9:26 am EDT this morning and moved away from the ISS using three engine burns.   The reentry burn was at 2:12 pm EDT.

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