This morning, at 4:49 a.m. CDT, after 5 days, 16 hours and 5 minutes attached to the International Space Station, SpaceX’s Dragon craft was released and made its return to Earth. It splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 10:42 a.m. CDT, about 530 miles southwest of Los Angeles, off the coast of Baja California. Containing 1,367 lbs of cargo from the ISS, Dragon was picked up by a barge recovery ship operated by American Marine and, as of the time of this writing, is in good condition and is headed to the port of L.A.
It’s the culmination of a truly historic mission — the first time a privately-built and operated spacecraft has docked with the Space Station, it opened the path for many more such missions to come in a new era of commercial spaceflight partnerships with NASA. From launch to splashdown, the mission couldn’t have gone better!
“I almost feel like this was more success than we had a reasonable right to expect. I hope we can repeat it.”
— Elon Musk, SpaceX founder and CEO