Thursday, May 31, 2012
SpaceX Dragon Splashes Down In Successful Mission
The SpaceX Dragon, the spacecraft built and launched by commercial space firm SpaceX, has succesfully returned to earth, splashing down at 8:42 a.m. PT this morning off the coast of Baja, California. The spacecraft--the first commercial vehicle to ever launch into orbit and dock with the International Space Station (ISS)--is returning experiments, hardware, and other materials from the ISS as part of one of the first missions expected to iron out the use of SpaceX's rockets and spacecraft for regular cargo delivery to the ISS. SpaceX, headed by Elon Musk, is the first firm to develop and launch its own rockets and spacecraft, and is part of a NASA effort to use commercial firms to replace missions previously supported by the Space Shuttle. SpaceX is aiming at delivering not only cargo, but astronauts, to space.