Miami, Aug 19 – A SpaceX cargo capsule with scientific material successfully began its return trip from the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday to the waters of the Atlantic, near the coast of Florida (USA). USA), where it is expected to arrive on Saturday.
According to NASA, the Dragon capsule separated from the space station’s Harmony module at the scheduled time, 11:05 a.m. Friday (3:00 p.m. GMT), at a time when the ISS was orbiting at almost 260 miles (418 km.) over the Pacific Ocean.
The ship thus begins its return to Earth after the separation from the orbital laboratory scheduled for that day was postponed on Thursday, in view of “unfavorable weather conditions, including a high probability of precipitation at the landing sites.”
The spacecraft will make the return trip without a crew but with more than 4,000 pounds (more than 1,800 kilos) of supplies and scientific experiments carried out under the microgravity environment of the ISS, among which are tests that seek to reduce heat and keep the suits at appropriate temperatures during spacewalks.
The Dragon took off with the help of a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, on July 14. Two days later it fit into the ISS with more than 5,800 pounds (more than 2,600 kilos) of supplies and scientific material for the orbiting laboratory crew.
It was the 25th supply service mission that SpaceX did for NASA, under a contract from the private firm founded by tycoon Elon Musk for the US space agency.
The expected arrival of the capsule on Saturday, the day it will descend into the water aided by parachutes, will occur while the Kennedy Space Center finalizes preparations for the launch of the Artemis I mission, which on August 29 will undertake an uncrewed round trip to Moon.