Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Dragon Returns in Successful Splashdown
A 23-day commercial round-trip to the International Space Station ended today with "SPLASHDOWN! At 9:34am PT [12:34 p.m. ET], Dragon splashed down safely in the Pacific. Welcome home!" as SpaceX tweeted.
Elon Musk tweeted "Cargo looks A ok," referencing the nearly 2,668 pounds of equipment, supplies and scientific instruments returned from the International Space Station on-orbit. The cargo will be shipped to the Port of Los Angeles and then trucked to Texas for unloading with NASA.
A competitor, Orbital Sciences Corp. of Virginia, plans a test flight of its Antares rocket and a dummy payload April 16, 2013. That launch will be conducted from Wallops Island, Virginia. It, too, has a NASA contract to deliver supplies. The Cygnus spacecraft will do a demonstration mission to the space station in the summer of 2013.