June 1, 2012 in Nation/World

Capsule returns with load after 9-day trip to space

Associated Press photo

In this photo provided by SpaceX, the Dragon spacecraft floats on the surface of the Pacific about 500 miles off Mexico’s Baja California on Thursday.
(Full-size photo)

 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.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email