A supply ship of SpaceX came down into the Pacific on Saturday bringing along a cargo of 3,800 pounds which included a malfunctioning robot of NASA. The coming of this craft was after a mission do one month at the ISS (International Space Station)
The splashdown of the Dragon capsule occurred 12 p.m. PDT (3 p.m. EDT; 1900 GMT) in the Pacific around 650 kilometers (400 miles) southwest of Long Beach in California. A recovery team of SpaceX was ready waiting for the craft’s return and it was pulled into a boat and returned to Los Angeles. The splashdown of the Dragon capsule marked the completion of the 14th resupply mission of SpaceX. It was the 3rd trip cargo flight with a once-used Dragon capsule.
The Dragon was released by a robotic arm which was Canadian-built at around 9:23 am EDT, Saturday, and the cargo carrier fired its thrusters to fly away to a safe distance from the orbiting bodies. The pressurized components and equipment of the spacecraft were protected with the help of a heat shield and parachutes that slowed its landing. NASA’s Robonaut 2 also hitched a ride back to home with the Dragon. Robonaut 2 was launched on the shuttle Discovery in February 2011. It was brought down, to understand why it failed, what more needs to be added and to make a decision on future launches. Robonaut will be launched again in any of the future missions once the repairs are completely done.
In the Dragon capsule was mice which lived in the space atmosphere, freezers carrying biological samples of plants and another organism, all to be studied and analyzed by researchers on the ground.
The Dragon capsule was launched by SpaceX on 2nd April from the Cape Canaveral. It reached the space station two days after the launch and successfully delivered 2,647 kilograms (5,836 pounds) of experiments and cargo. The departure of the Dragon was scheduled on Wednesday and had to be extended to Saturday because of the harsh sea in the splashdown zone. If the sea condition is not good it might have caused damage to the cargo and retrieve it safely would not have been possible.
The return of the supply ship cleared the port of the space station for the arrival of a cargo craft, the Orbital ATK Cygnus which will be later this month. The resupply mission of Cygnus is planned to be launched on 20th May.