Mar 21, 2017 12:47 AM EDT
Astronauts from International Space Station(ISS) finally released SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship towards the Earth. The space capsule was loaded with more than 5,400 lbs. (2450 kilograms) of science samples, trash objects, and other no-longer-needed stuff. Dragon is the first carrier vehicle in space history which is engineered to return back to Earth safely.
American astronaut Shane Kimbrough and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet gave the command to ISS's robotic arm, Canadarm2 to detach the SpaceX Dragon capsule at 5:11 a.m. EDT (0911 GMT). According to CBS News, it took almost five and half hours to arrive at Earth. After getting into the Earth’s atmosphere, three giant parachutes deployed to splash the capsule gently into the Pacific Ocean.
SpaceX recovery crews found the capsule about 230 miles southwest of Long Beach, California. SpaceX confirmed about Dragon’s splashdown in a tweet at 10:46 a.m. EDT. The team stationed the probe in the port of Long Beach. Space reported that NASA officials and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space were able to collect time-sensitive research samples from the capsule Within 48 hours of SpaceX Dragon's splashdown.
A few hours earlier before SpaceX Dragon’s deployment, ISS astronomer Thomas Pesquet from European Space Agency(ESA) said on the radio,“Houston, it looks like it’s time to say goodbye to Dragon. I know scientists can’t wait to get their hands on their results, and thanks to returning vehicles like Dragon”. Mission controller and Astronaut Michael Hopkins from the Johnson Space Center also passed congratulations and thanks to all the teams involved in this CRS-10 mission.
Until the present SpaceX Dragon already made 10 resupply missions among two dozen under the Contract of NASA, worth $2 billion. CEO Elon Musk is now planning to sign a $2.6 billion contract to make an upgraded version of Dragon which will be able to carry astronauts for the upcoming missions.