LAKE MARIA, Fla. – A developed Dragon cargo capsule is due to float off the coast of Florida on Monday night, approximately 12 hours after taking off from the International Space Station.
The SpaceX capsule, which will be loaded with 5,200 pounds of scientific experiments and other cargo, will disconnect from the ISS at 9:25 p.m.
“The dragon will launch its pushers to move a safe distance from the gate to the station aimed at the Harmony module space, after which it will start burning with deorbit to begin its sequence of re-entering the Earth̵
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The Dragon is expected to make its parachute launch around 9pm – the first return of a cargo ship to the Atlantic.
“The splash off the coast of Florida allows science to be quickly transported aboard the capsule to the Kennedy Space Center’s processing facility and back into the hands of researchers,” NASA said.
Dragon launched on December 6 with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the 39A launch complex at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, arriving at the station just over 24 hours later and achieving the first autonomous docking of a US spacecraft to deliver cargo. It was the company’s 21st mission to supply services to NASA.
SpaceX Dragon capsule for delivery to the International Space Station. (SpaceX)
The previous arriving cargo spacecraft “Dragon” was captured and attached to the space station by astronauts operating the robotic station Canadarm2. The spacecraft delivered more than 6,400 pounds of hardware, research and crew supplies.
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