A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft has detached from the International Space Station (ISS) and will be returning to Earth today, it has been revealed.
The spacecraft will be reentering the Earth’s atmosphere today afternoon and will ultimately splashdown in the Pacific Ocean for recovery. As per NASA, the SpaceX Dragon CRS-11 Cargo Craft was released from the space station at 2:41 am EDT , after 30 days in space.
Dragon took with it several thousand pounds of scientific experiments and equipment to the space station. Originally scheduled to depart the ISS and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California on Sunday, 2 July, Dragon’s homecoming was delayed one day due to unfavorable weather conditions in the Eastern Pacific.
The splashdown zone for Monday has an acceptable weather forecast and is closer to port in Long Beach, California. Splashdown is expected around 260 miles southwest of the California coast.
Recovery forces will retrieve the capsule and its more than 4,100 pounds of returning cargo, including science samples from human and animal research, biotechnology studies, physical science investigations and education activities.
Dragon, the only space station resupply spacecraft able to return to Earth intact, will be retrieved by a SpaceX team from the ocean and shipped it to port in southern California.