SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Successfully Returns to Earth (WATCH)

May 19, 2014 09:11 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro


The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft returned to Earth on May 18 after successfully completing its third resupply (CRS-3) mission.

The spacecraft returned with 3,500 pounds of science experiments and supplies, according to NASA. 

Dragon splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 3:05 p.m. EDT.

ISS' robotic arm, Canadarm2, was put into the release position remotely and NASA ISS Expedition 40 Commander Steve Swanson released the Dragon spacecraft, with some assistance from flight engineer Alexander Skvortsov, at 9:26 a.m.

Dragon completed two departure burns shortly after its departure, and a final deorbit burn took place at 2:12 p.m.

SpaceX announced the return of the capsule and the successful splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on Twitter.

The cargo will be delivered to the Johnson Space Center within the next 2 or 3 days, according to NASA.

The Dragon spacecraft reached the ISS space station on April 20 with almost 5,000 pounds of fresh supplies and science experiments.

Of the approximate 3,563 pounds of cargo returning to Earth, the completed investigations weigh 1,600 pounds, according to NASA.

The next ISS launch is scheduled to take place on May 28 which will bring NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, cosmonaut Maxim Suaraev and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst to the space station.

The three men will serve as Expedition 40/41 crew members, according to NASA.

After the May 28 launch, the next mission will be Orbital Science's second Commercial Resupply Services (Orbital 2) mission on June 10.

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