The bell-shaped Dragon capsule spent nine days in space, following its launch May 22 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., atop a Falcon 9 rocket. It arrived at the space station three days later.
It carried a half-ton of supplies up to the six-man crew – and returned with about 1,400 pounds of used equipment and a few scientific experiments. It’s the first time NASA has used a U.S. vehicle to bring material back to Earth since the space shuttle was retired last summer.
It will take a few days to transport the fresh-from-orbit Dragon by barge to the Port of Los Angeles. From there, it will be trucked to the SpaceX rocket factory in McGregor, Texas, for unloading and inspection. Initial indications are that the spacecraft returned in very good condition.