SpaceX Capsule Back on Earth

Carrying a lot of scientific experiments
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 19, 2017 12:32 PM CDT
SpaceX Capsule Back on Earth
This image posted by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet on Twitter on March 12, 2017, shows him with a saxophone he received for his birthday aboard the International Space Station. The instrument arrived in a SpaceX cargo ship on Feb. 23, and his crewmates kept it hidden until his 39th birthday on Feb....   (Courtesy Thomas Pesquet via AP)

A SpaceX capsule is back on Earth with a full load of space station science samples, reports the AP. The Dragon cargo ship parachuted into the Pacific on Sunday off the Southern California coast. Astronauts set it free from the International Space Station 5½ hours earlier. The Dragon flew to the space station a month ago from the same Florida launch pad used for NASA's Apollo moon shots. It took up more than 5,000 pounds of supplies and Spaceflight Now reports that it brought back 3,600 pounds of cargo, including blood and urine samples and experiments on catastrophic bone injuries and osteoporosis. It's the capsule's 10th mission.

NASA's other supplier, Orbital ATK, plans to launch its own supply ship Friday, also from Cape Canaveral. That one, however, burns up on re-entry. The space station is home to one Frenchman, two Americans, and three Russians. (Read more SpaceX stories.)

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