SpaceX Dragon completes visit to ISS

In what looks to become another busy day for SpaceX the Dragon cargo vehicle that spent a month at the station following its successful launch last month was released by the station this morning and completed a successful splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 8:12 EDT.

This was the second mission for this vehicle and clearly shows that SpaceX’s goals of creating reusable rockets and spacecraft have moved another important step forward.

The spacecraft returned 4,100+ lbs of research and other cargo from the station which will now be returned to port before being transported directly to NASA to be offloaded.

At present SpaceX has not said when another flight-proven Dragon will be used however there have been indications that this is under consideration as well as the possibility of using flight-proven Falcon 9 to launch them.

SpaceX successfully concludes CRS-5 mission

Dragon just below the station
Dragon just below the station before docking

Despite having to again delay the launch of the DSCOVR mission, this time due to higher than acceptable upper level winds, they still had a successful conclusion to another mission that has been in space for the last month.

The Dragon capsule that was docked to the International Space Station as part of there Commercial Resupply Services contract concluded its mission with a splash down in the Pacific Ocean.  The spacecraft which spent the last four weeks berthed to the station was released by the ISS’s robot arm earlier today and following a successful de-orbit burn splashed down.

ISS outside the Cupola just after release
ISS outside the Cupola just after release

The spacecraft will now be returned to port where the critical supplies will be off-loaded and handed over to NASA, it will then return to Texas for final processing.

Video of the release is available here.