Dragon is expected to
splashdown off the Florida coast around 7 am Indian
time on Thursday.
AN UPGRADED SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft has successfully undocked from the International Space Station (ISS), heading for splashdown on Earth on Thursday morning with key science experiments, including mice. It is the first undocking of a US commercial cargo craft from the International Docking Adapter on the station’s space-facing port of the Harmony module. Previous cargo Dragon spacecraft were attached and removed from the space station using the station’s robotic Canadarm2.
“Dragon will fire its thrusters to move a safe distance from the space station during the next 36 hours. Dragon will conduct a deorbit burn at 7:37 p.m. EST to begin its re-entry sequence into Earth’s atmosphere,” NASA. “Dragon was expected to splashdown west of Tampa off the Florida coast about 8:27 p.m. EST (around 7 am India time on Thursday).
The upgraded cargo Dragon capsule used for this mission contains double the powered locker availability of previous capsules, allowing for a significant increase in the research that can be carried back to Earth. Dragon was launched on December 6 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, arriving at the station just over 24 hours later and achieving the first autonomous docking of a US commercial cargo resupply spacecraft.