The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule began its journey back to Earth on Friday (March 8) following a successful undocking from the International Space Station (ISS).
The unmanned capsule’s voyage marks a key milestone for Elon Musk’s space company and NASA’s long-delayed goal to resume human spaceflight from U.S. soil later this year.
The 16-foot tall (4.9 meter) capsule docked at the space station on Sunday (March 3) after lifting off a day earlier from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center atop a Falcon 9 rocket, carrying a test dummy nicknamed Ripley.
Crew Dragon delivered crew supplies and equipment to the ISS. During its five-day stay, U.S. astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques ran tests and inspected Crew Dragon’s cabin.
Crew Dragon will spend a little time in space before re-entering the atmosphere and it is set to splash down in the Atlantic Ocean, not far off the Florida coast, at 1345GMT, a few hours after the undocking process (0731GMT).
SpaceX Crew Dragon docks with International Space Station as Elon Musk marks another launch breakthrough:
‘Exhausted’ Elon Musk reveals he gave Crew Dragon spacecraft ‘10% chance of reaching orbit’ after successful Space X test launch:
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