May 31 2012, 3:20am CDT | by Luigi Lugmayr
After making the historic journey as the first commercial spacecraft to visit the International Space Station, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will return to Earth today. Dragon has just undocked from the International Space Station. Watch live on NASA TV .
Dragon is the only spacecraft capable of returning a significant amount of cargo from the space station. The other cargo vehicles serving the space station - from Russia, Japan and the European Space Agency - can carry cargo up but all are destroyed after leaving the station.
While Dragon was attached to the space station, astronauts unloaded 1,146 pounds of cargo including food, other crew provisions and student experiments. They then packed the spacecraft with 1,455 pounds of cargo that will be returned to NASA on Earth including hardware used for experiments, spacewalks and station systems.
Dragon is targeted to land in the Pacific Ocean, a few hundred miles west of Southern California, at approximately 8:44 AM Pacific/11:44 AM Eastern on Thursday, May 31st. The spacecraft returns to Earth like a burning comet, protected from extreme reentry temperatures by its powerful PICA-X heat shield. The landing location is controlled by firing the Draco thrusters during reentry.
Source: Chrono24-Luxury Watches
Source: Asia One
Source: Channel News Asia
Source: Roll Call
Source: The White House
Source: The Register Hardware
This morning, at approximately 8:42 AM Pacific/11:42 AM Eastern, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) completed its historic mission when the Dragon spacecraft splashed down safely in the Pacific. The vehicle will now be recovered by boats and start the trip back to land.
Luigi Lugmayr (Google) is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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