A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship completed its one month stay at the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday, making a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
The capsule, which was developed and operated by the California-based SpaceX, was released by NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Reid Wiseman using the robotic crane of the ISS as the two vehicles rose 260 miles (418 kilometers) over Australia.
“Dragon is free,” mission commentator Rob Navias said at the time of the NASA broadcast.
The Dragon, which was gumdrop-shaped, made a parachute descent into the Pacific Ocean hours later at about 300 miles, west of Baja California in Mexico.
“Splashdown is confirmed!” SpaceX posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.
About 3,800 pounds of scientific experiments and equipments that were no longer needed aboard the ISS were carried out by the capsule.
The capsule shoot off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on September 21 with over 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms) of food, experiments, supplies and equipment, including a prototype 3-D printer as well as 20 living mice that have been used for medical experiments in order to assess muscle and bone loss during long-duration spaceflights.
The Dragon also delivered a USD 26 million science instrument of the US space agency known as RapidScat, which was linked to the outside of the International Space Station to quantify wind speeds over the oceans.
Orbital Sciences Corp. and SpaceX resupply the ISS under the terms of commercial contracts worth USD 3.5 billion. Orbital is due to launch a Cygnus freighter towards the space station on Monday.