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  HOME | Science, Nature & Technology

SpaceX’s Dragon Cargo Spacecraft Lands Successfully off the Coast of Florida

MIAMI – SpaceX’s Dragon capsule successfully landed in Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday off the coast of Tampa, Florida, a day after separating from the International Space Station (ISS).

The cargo resupply spacecraft landed around 8:26 pm local time (0126 GMT Wednesday), after a stay of just over a month at the ISS, from which it undocked on Tuesday morning in an operation monitored by NASA astronaut Victor Glover.

“Splashdown of Dragon confirmed, completing SpaceX’s 21st @Space_Station resupply mission and the first return of a cargo resupply spacecraft off the coast of Florida,” SpaceX tweeted. Usually, they land in the Pacific Ocean.

NASA said earlier this month that the upgraded cargo Dragon capsule used for this mission “contained double the powered locker availability of previous capsules, allowing for a significant increase in the research that can be carried back to Earth.”

Among the research the spacecraft has brought back to Earth is work on how microgravity affects the human cardiovascular system in the long term.

The Dragon capsule has also brought back live mice that are a part of the Rodent Research-23 experiment, which “studies the function of arteries, veins, and lymphatic structures in the eye and changes in the retina of mice before and after spaceflight,” according to NASA.

The capsule is also carrying 12 bottles of Bordeaux wine and 320 grapevines that had been sent to the station for a scientific experiment.

The bottles of the French wine and the vines had been in the ISS laboratory since November 2019 as part of an experiment organized by the European company Space Cargo Unlimited under its Mission WISE program, which is aimed at “developing new models and technology to tackle the future of agriculture and food by leveraging the effect of microgravity on complex biological systems,” according to the company.

 

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