Dragon cargo spacecraft of SpaceX has safely returned to Earth, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off Baja California, Mexico. The vessel has made a comeback with over 3,000 lbs. of cargo and science experiments, like 12 mice.
On August 26 morning, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishireleased the crewless spacecraft from the International Space Station (ISS) with the help of the station's robotic arm. In a statement, the US space agency officials said that the spacecraft back home at 11:47 am EDT yesterday.
In a tweet, SpaceX officials wrote, “Good splashdown of Dragon confirmed, carrying thousands of pounds of @NASA science and research cargo back from the @Space_Station”.
When the capsule left for home, the ISS astronauts packed it with NASA cargo, equipment and research samples. Once the spacecraft landed in the Pacific Ocean, SpaceX employees retrieved it and using a ship moved it to a port near Los Angeles, where a part of the cargo was taken off to send to NASA.
On July 20, the Dragon space capsule reached the ISS, with science equipment, tools, experiments and supplies aboard for the astronauts at the space station. Dragon also made a quite significant delivery of a part of hardware: one of the two international docking adapters (IDAs), which in the coming time would let spacecraft dock directly with the US segment of the ISS.
The capsule has carried along many samples, science materials, and among them are the 12 mice that stayed on the ISS for a month. The animals have returned back now, and thus researchers are looking forward to study DNA from the organs of the mice and also the DNA of the space faring animals' offspring. This study’s findings will help researchers better understand microgravity’s impact on DNA expression.