Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Space Travel News .




LAUNCH PAD
SpaceX capsule returns after ISS resupply mission
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) March 26, 2013


An unmanned, privately-owned US space capsule which took supplies to the International Space Station splashed down safely in the Pacific on Tuesday, its mission completed.

"SPLASHDOWN!" owner SpaceX tweeted. "Welcome home!"

Its descent slowed by three large parachutes, the Dragon capsule dropped into waters 320 kilometers (200 miles) off the coast of Mexico. Ships set out to pluck it from the water.

The day started with crew using a robotic arm on the ISS to complete the delicate de-linking of the capsule after a mission of just over three weeks.

Dragon delivered 1,200 pounds (544 kilos) of food, scientific material and other equipment during SpaceX's second resupply mission to the space station, which currently has a crew of two Americans, three Russians and a Canadian.

The capsule returned to Earth much heavier than on its outbound journey, as it carried more than 2,600 pounds of equipment from experiments conducted on the ISS.

One was designed to study molecular changes to a small flowering plant in microgravity. A related study examined how the plant roots hold up in low-oxygen environments.

The Dragon's docking with the ISS in early March after it was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida aboard a Falcon rocket was delayed by 24 hours because of a problem with the capsule's thrusters that was quickly resolved.

The voyage was the third mission by the private SpaceX -- whose name is short for Space Exploration Technologies -- to the ISS under contract with NASA. The first of the missions was a test flight.

The return also happened a day later than originally scheduled because of bad weather in the splash-down area.

NASA's mission control in Houston handled the uncoupling of Dragon from the ISS. SpaceX staff in Hawthorne, California were in charge of getting the capsule through the atmosphere and back to Earth, with communications and other support from NASA.

SpaceX made history when Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft in history to successfully attach to the International Space Station, in a May 2012 test flight.

Previously only four governments -- the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Space Agency -- had achieved this challenging technical feat.

SpaceX has now begun regular missions to the ISS, completing its first official resupply mission in October 2012.

NASA is relying on SpaceX and other commercial ventures to take over for its retired fleet of space shuttles, which last flew in July 2011.

Before SpaceX's successful mission in October, NASA had been relying on Russian spacecraft -- but the Soyuz craft does not have room for cargo on the return flight.

SpaceX says it has 50 launches planned -- both NASA missions and commercial flights -- totaling about $4 billion in contracts.

So far, SpaceX has only sent unmanned flights into orbit, but the company aims to send a manned flight within the next three or four years. It is under a separate contract with NASA to refine the capsule so that it can carry a crew.

NASA also has a $1.9 billion resupply contract for the station with Orbital Sciences Corporation, which will launch the first test flight of its Antares rocket from a base in Virginia in the coming weeks.

.


Related Links
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





LAUNCH PAD
SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Carrying NASA Cargo Ready for Return to Earth
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 26, 2013
More than three weeks after arriving at the International Space Station, the Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft is ready for the trip back to Earth, now scheduled for Tuesday, March 26. Dragon's originally scheduled March 25 return date was postponed due to inclement weather developing near its targeted splashdown site in the Pacific Ocean. The additional day s ... read more


LAUNCH PAD
When quality counts: Arianespace reaffirms its North American market presence

SpaceX capsule returns after ISS resupply mission

SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Carrying NASA Cargo Ready for Return to Earth

Dragon capsule to spend extra day in space

LAUNCH PAD
Opportunity Heads to Matijevic Hill

Curiosity Resumes Science Investigations

Digging for hidden treasure on Mars

Sun in the Way Will Affect Mars Missions in April

LAUNCH PAD
NASA's LRO Sees GRAIL's Explosive Farewell

Amazon's Bezos recovers Apollo 11 engines

Leaping Lunar Dust

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project Seeks Public Support To Retrieve Apollo Era Moon Images

LAUNCH PAD
'Vulcan' wins Pluto moon name vote

Public to vote on names for Pluto moons

The PI's Perspective: The Seven-Year Itch

New Horizons Gets a New Year's Workout

LAUNCH PAD
Astronomers Detect Water in Atmosphere of Distant Planet

Distant planetary system is a super-sized solar system

Water signature in distant planet shows clues to its formation

The Great Exoplanet Debate

LAUNCH PAD
SpaceX's Merlin 1D Engine Achieves Flight Qualification

Here We Go Again, Another Air-Launch Idea

Moog Conducts More Than 7,900 Hot Fire Tests on 400 Engines in 2012

Russia Delays New Soyuz Launch

LAUNCH PAD
China's Next Women Astronauts

Shenzhou 10 - Next Stop: Jiuquan

China's fourth space launch center to be in use in two years

China to launch new manned spacecraft

LAUNCH PAD
Goldstone Radar Snags Images of Asteroid 2013 ET

Sunset Comet

Long Awaited, Comet PanSTARRS Now Glows in the Twilight

Comet PANSTARRS Rises to the Occasion Mid-March




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement