Monday, August 06, 2018

SpaceX Dragon Departure | International Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship, on its 15th Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-15) for NASA, is seen after robotic flight controllers released the spacecraft using the International Space Station’s robotic arm. Expedition 56 Flight Engineer Serena Auñon-Chancellor of NASA monitored its departure.

Dragon’s thrusters were fired to move the spacecraft a safe distance from the station before SpaceX flight controllers in Hawthorne, California, commanded its deorbit burn. The capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, where the SpaceX recovery team will retrieve the capsule and its more than 3,800 pounds of cargo, including a variety of technological and biological studies.

NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the non-profit organization that manages research aboard the U.S. National Laboratory portion of the space station, will receive time-sensitive samples and begin working with researchers to process and distribute them within 48 hours of splashdown.

Dragon is the only space station resupply spacecraft currently capable of returning cargo to Earth, and this was the second trip to the orbiting laboratory for this spacecraft. SpaceX launched its 15th NASA-contracted commercial resupply mission to the station June 29 from Space Launch Complex 40 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a Falcon 9 rocket that also previously launched NASA’s TESS mission to study exoplanets.

Credit: Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev/Roscosmos
Image Date: August 3, 2018

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