SpaceX CRS-22 Dragon cargo ship was supposed to undock from the International Space Station (ISS) last July 6, but it was delayed due to Tropical Storm Elsa that has brought severe winds and heavy rains in Florida that might impact the ship's landing.
The cargo ship remained docked to the station's Harmony module until July 7, according to NASA's statement. The CRS-22 Dragon cargo ship was launched from Kennedy Space Station on June 3 and arrived at the station 16 hours later carrying 7,300 pounds of supplies for the crew, according to a previous report of Science Times.
But now, the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship has finally undocked the ISS and is going back to Earth carrying 3,000 pounds of experiments from the ISS.
SpaceX Dragon Cargo Ship Departs ISS
According to Space.com, SpaceX CRS-22 Dragon cargo ship has successfully undocked from the space station's Harmony module on July 8 at 10:40 am EDT (1440 GMT) to return to Earth in a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Tallahassee, Florida.
NASA officials announced that the splashdown is expected to happen 37 hours since the cargo ship disembarked from the ISS. It is set on Friday, July 9, at 11:30 pm EDT (0330 July 10 GMT). But due to Tropical Storm Elsa surging along the country's east coast, the splashdown will not be broadcast live.
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough was keeping an eye on the undocking of the spacecraft as it departs from the space station. "Thanks to everybody again, and it looks like a beautiful vehicle departing," Click Orlando quoted Kimbrough saying after the cargo ship pushed away from the ISS.
The CRS-22 Dragon cargo ship used its thrusters to disembark from the space station before re-entry to Earth.
SpaceX Dragon is Bringing Back Experiments to Earth from the ISS
Space.com further reported that SpaceX CRS-22 Dragon cargo ship is bringing back 3,000 pounds of experiments to Earth after being delayed by Tropical Storm Elsa. Some of these NASA experiments include the Lyophilization-2, Molecular Muscle Experiment-2, and Oral Biofilms in Space.
The Lyophilization-2 experiment seeks to examine the effects of gravity on freeze-dried materials. This experiment follows up previous work, which could lead to better freeze-drying techniques that the pharmaceutical and related industries could use.
Meanwhile, the Molecular Muscle Experiment-2 (MME-2) uses C. elegans worm to test a series of drugs to improve human health while in space. It also aims to find out whether a certain molecule controls health changes in space.
Lastly, the Oral Biofilms in Space aims to investigate how gravity could affect oral bacteria, the structure of its bacterial community, and how they would react on certain oral care agents. The findings of this experiment could hopefully improve or create novel treatments for oral problems, such as gingivitis, cavities, and periodontitis.
The SpaceX CRS-23 Dragon cargo ship is set to launch from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A on August 18, the 23rd mission of SpaceX, under a Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.
Check out more news and information on SpaceX on Science Times.