HAWTHRONE, CA (Thu, May 31) - THE SpaceX Dragon craft has returned to Earth, ending its revolutionary voyage to the International Space Station (ISS).
|Welcome Home, Baby: Says delighted Elon Musk after Dragon splashes back into Pacific|
"Welcome home, baby," said SpaceX's elated chief, Elon Musk, on Thursday after the Dragon capsule has parachuted into the Pacific Ocean that ended up a successful mission of ferrying the first private delivery to the International Space Station (ISS) and pioneers NASA's new approach to space exploration.
The unmanned capsule parachuted into the Pacific approximately 805 km off Mexico's Baja California, bringing back more than a half-ton of old station equipment. It was the first time since the space shuttles stopped flying last summer that NASA got back a big load from the orbiting lab.
Splashdown came at 8:42 a.m. (11:42 a.m. ET), about two minutes earlier than expected, SpaceX and NASA reported. Musk was on hand at the company’s mission control center near Los Angeles as operators monitored the descent, and called the mission a “grand slam” in a briefing later Thursday.
Continue reading and watch the video of Dragon splashing into Pacific: