Unmanned Dragon Spaceship Splashes Back to Earth Near Southern California


An unmanned Dragon spaceship splashed back to Earth on Tuesday after a successful supply run to the International Space Station but its owners were forced to scrub the launch of an important weather satellite on the other side of the continent.

The Dragon parachuted into the Pacific west of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula at 4:45 p.m., according to Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX.

The capsule flew 5,000 pounds (2,250 kilograms) of groceries and belated Christmas presents to the space station last month. The station’s astronauts had been awaiting supplies since a ship from another company was destroyed in an October launch explosion.

Dragon returned with science samples and broken equipment, including bad spacesuit parts.

The landing came about 90 minutes after SpaceX scrubbed the planned launch of a weather satellite called the Deep Space Climate Observatory from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

SpaceX called off its sunset launch with just 12 minutes remaining in the countdown because of gusts of 115 mph (185 kph) several miles (kilometers) up — strong enough to damage the rocket in flight.

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SOURCE: The Seattle Times

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