SpaceX Dragon Cargo Ship Leaves Space Station

By Marcia Dunn – Astronauts released the unmanned SpaceX capsule, named Dragon, from the end of the space station’s giant robot arm. The parting occurred 250 miles over the South Pacific and was a poignant moment for the three space station residents, who had helped to snare the Dragon three weeks earlier.

The Dragon was due to splash down off the Baja California coast 5½ hours after its space station departure. It will be transported by ship to Los Angeles and then by truck to the SpaceX company’s plant in McGregor, Texas.

Within hours, NASA will retrieve the science samples meticulously collected over the weeks and months by space station astronauts, as well as experiments that flew up with Dragon, such as flowering weeds and mouse stem cells. Old space station equipment and other items will be removed by SpaceX in McGregor. In all, more than 1 ton of gear was loaded into the capsule. more>



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