SpaceX Dragon cargo ship returns to Earth after ISS visit
The 14th SpaceX mission to the International Space Station (ISS) has returned safely to Earth. The unmanned Dragon cargo ship splashed down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California at approximately 3:00 pm EDT on May 5. The completion of the CRS-14 flight came six and a half hours after the craft was released from the station by ground control using a remote controlled Canadarm2 robotic arm.
Launched on April 2, the reusable Dragon 2 capsule had already flown to the space station in 2016. On its current trip, it brought up 5,800 lb (2,630 kg) of experiments and supplies for the ISS and its crew of six. This included an ESA storm-hunting instrument, a British-built space debris hunter, a new facility to test materials, coatings and components, a microgravity medical experiment, a new hydroponics unit, and general supplies.
For its return, the capsule was loaded with over 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) of science samples and other cargo. These included samples from the Metabolic Tracking experiment to create more effective and less expensive pharmaceuticals, the APEX-06 hydroponics experiment, and the Fruit Fly Lab-03 study into disease genes and immunity to help in long duration deep space missions.
After splashdown, the capsule was recovered by SpaceX ships and was taken to port in Long Beach California before being sent on to SpaceX's test facility in McGregor, Texas, for processing.