May 21, 1:53 PM EDT

Back home on Earth: SpaceX craft returns from space station

AP Photo
AP Photo

50 years of missions to Mars
New Hubble Captures New Images
In retrospect: Race to the moon
Hubble Telescope: A spy on the universe
Preparing for launch after standing down last fall
Lunar Testing in Washington
Landing on Mars
Take a Tour of the International Space Station
Lunar Eclipse Seen Around the World
NASA Economic Impact Report (March 2008)
Latest News
Back home on Earth: SpaceX craft returns from space station

Air Force launches hush-hush mini-shuttle into space

Soprano Sarah Brightman puts off her space flight

Russian launch failure delays landing for space station crew

Russian spaceship falls to Earth

SpaceX capsule soars with dummy in 1st test of crew escape

Astronomers find farthest galaxy: 13.1 billion light-years

Buy AP Photo Reprints

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- A SpaceX Dragon capsule is back on Earth with a full load of cargo, after a quick trip home from the International Space Station.

The capsule, containing more than 3,000 pounds of experiments and equipment, splashed into the Pacific just off the Southern California coast Thursday less than six hours following its station departure.

"Congrats!" Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti said via Twitter from the space station.

NASA expects to receive its precious science samples within two days, after the spacecraft is transported to a port near Los Angeles.

The Dragon capsule arrived at the orbiting lab last month, bearing much-needed groceries and other goods for Cristoforetti and the five other station residents. The astronauts refilled the capsule with science experiments and samples for the trip home, including roundworms that were part of studies on muscles and aging.

The California-based SpaceX company is NASA's only means of getting supplies to the 260-mile-high station, ever since last year's loss of an Orbital Sciences Corp. craft in a Virginia launch explosion.

More recently, a Russian supply ship went into an uncontrollable spin after liftoff and was destroyed upon re-entry earlier this month, its entire contents undelivered.

SpaceX will attempt to launch another shipment June 26 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.




© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.