SpaceX Dragon Returns to Earth After Delivering NASA Supplies to Space Station

Space.com | 1/7/2020 | Tariq Malik
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A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft returned to Earth today (Jan. 7) after a monthlong cargo delivery trip to the International Space Station for NASA.

Astronauts on the space station released the Dragon CRS-19 spacecraft into space with the outpost's robotic arm, bidding farewell to a spacecraft that delivered more than 5,700 lbs. (2,585 kilograms) of NASA supplies last month. Dragon left the station at 5:05 a.m. EST (1005 GMT) and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at about 10:41 a.m. EST (1541 GMT). SpaceX confirmed Dragon's successful return to Earth in a Twitter update five minutes after the scheduled splashdown.

Honor - Dragon - Capture - Release - Luca

"It's been really an honor and incredibly, incredibly rewarding to be here working with this Dragon, both for the capture and for the release," Luca Parmitano, a European Space Agency astronaut and commander of the station's current Expedition 61 crew, said as Dragon left the station today. "We know that together with Dragon we are sending down not only viable science, but also a little bit of our lives up here. And so, it's really been nice. Thank you so much."

A SpaceX CRS-19 cargo ship departs the International Space Station on Jan. 7, 2020 to end the company's 19th resupply mission for NASA.

Dragon - CRS-19 - Cargo - Ship - Delivery

The uncrewed Dragon CRS-19 cargo ship made its third delivery mission to the space station for NASA on this flight. It previously launched the CRS-4 in 2014 and CRS-11 in 2017.

The view from SpaceX's CRS-19 cargo ship, showing the International Space Station as Dragon pulled away from the orbiting lab on Jan. 7, 2020.

Dragon - Departure - Spacecraft - Maneuvers - Station

During Dragon's departure, the spacecraft's maneuvers near the station appear to have affected the solar arrays of another commercial cargo ship, the Cygnus-12 spacecraft built by Northrop Grumman, docked at an nearby port.

"Hey, we noticed that while the jets were firing for the departure burn...
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