May 6 (UPI) — The unmanned SpaceX Dragon cargo ship successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, the company said.
SpaceX confirmed the reusable ship completed the company’s third resupply mission to and from the International Space Station at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
After spending a month on the space station, Dragon detached and was sent back to earth to deliver 4,000 pounds of NASA cargo and research material.
The cargo included science samples from a variety of technological and biological studies about the space station.
“Some of the science returning on this flight includes samples from the Metabolic Tracking study that could lead to more effective, less expensive drugs, the APEX-06 investigation examining how to effectively grow crops in space, and the Fruit Fly Lab-03 investigation to research disease genes and immunity to help prepare for future long-duration human space exploration missions,” NASA said.
It also included a group of mice that were living on the space station as part of a study to observe how their bones and muscles changed after living in microgravity.
After splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, a boat took Dragon to the port at Long Beach, Calif., where the cargo was removed.
Dragon was then prepared to return to SpaceX’s test facility in McGregor, Texas, to be processed.
The cargo ship was originally scheduled to return from the International Space Station on Wednesday, but the trip was delayed by rough seas.