Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Dragon spacecraft splashes down

The SpaceX Dragon capsule begins its journey back to Earth(AP/NASA)

The history-making Dragon spacecraft is back on Earth.

The unmanned cargo ship parachuted into the Pacific, six hours after leaving the International Space Station.

The world's first commercial craft to resupply the space station brought back more than a half-ton of old gear.

The privately funded SpaceX vessel is the first to return such a load since shuttles for the US space agency, Nasa, retired last year.

SpaceX guided the Dragon's descent through the atmosphere and splashdown off the coast of Mexico. A fleet of boats was in position, ready to receive it.

It will take a few days to transport the capsule by barge to Los Angeles.

From there, it will be trucked to the SpaceX rocket factory in Texas for unloading and inspection.

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