SpaceX’s Dragon capsule has returned from the International Space Station as planned, after spending around a month docked at the orbital facility. This Dragon spacecraft was previously flown on an ISS resupply mission, meaning it’s done the round trip successfully twice in its lifetime now.
Dragon decoupled and departed from the space station around six hours ago, and finished its deorbit burn a few hours later, before deploying its landing parachutes and then splashing down early Saturday morning.
This capsule was originally launched on December 15, carrying around 4,800 lbs of supplies for the station, including scientific experimentation materials and mission materials for the astronauts on board the scientific facility.
On the return trip, Dragon is loaded up with supplies, too, including experimental results that will be analyzed by scientists on the ground.
For SpaceX, this is significant because it’s yet another proven mission success for its fight-proven, reusable spacecraft program. This Dragon was used on a previous resupply mission, as mentioned above, and on its most recent mission it also flew atop a previously flown Falcon 9 first stage booster, too.