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SpaceX's Cargo Dragon spacecraft returns from the International Space Station

Sunday afternoon SpaceX's Cargo Dragon spacecraft was released from the International Space Station's manipulator arm and started on its way to return back to Earth after a five-week long stay at the station. Dragon was released around 3:37pm EST and began performing automated maneuvers to move away from the Space Station to get out of the safety bubble that surrounds the station. These operations were previously delayed from Thursday, January 10th because of poor weather conditions at the splashdown site that's roughly 400 miles off the coast of Long Beach, California.

Dragon performed a nearly 13 minute burn of its Draco engines to deorbit and bring its trajectory to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, which occurred at 9:12pm EST on January 14th. Shortly after splashdown support ships moved in and recovered it from the water. After securing it onboard, they began removing time sensitive experiments from inside that were loaded into the spacecraft shortly before unberthing. A complete cargo unloading will be done in McGregor, Texas when returned to shore.

The next CRS mission is currently targeted for NET March.

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