SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft returns to Earth with Pacific Ocean splashdown

On Sunday, March 19, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is set to leave from Long Beach Airport (LGB) to Houston after it's due to return to Earth and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. The capsule was carrying 4,500 pounds of supplies and scientific experiment equipment when it made its way to the ISS, which was transferred over by ISS astronauts over the course of the past few weeks.

Expedition 50 astronauts Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Shane Kimbrough of NASA released the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station's robotic arm right on schedule, at 5:11 a.m. The cargo ship was released and "thrown" towards earth using a robotic arm attached on the global space station by astronauts Thomas Pesquet (of France) and Shane Kimbrough (of NASA).

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket is prepared for a launch to the International Space Station February 17, 2017 at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on LC39A, one of the renovated Space Shuttle launch pads that SpaceX leases from NASA. Dragon's journey home will be much shorter, however; it's slated to splash down in the Pacific Ocean at 10:54 a.m. EDT (1454 GMT) tomorrow, if everything goes according to plan.

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station on February 23 and is set to leave early Sunday (March 19). The craft's deorbit burn and splashdown will not be broadcast.

  • Zachary Reyes