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    SpaceX Dragon capsule lands in Pacific Ocean after ISS mission

    SpaceX Dragon capsule lands in Pacific Ocean after ISS mission


    The SpaceX Dragon capsule has successfully landed after a mission to the International Space Station.

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    The SpaceX Dragon capsule has just completed its historic mission to and from the International Space Station by landing back on Earth. After several delays, the capsule launched and successfully docked at the ISS, where astronauts retrieved its contents and sent it back to Earth. Now, after an early morning departure, the Dragon has landed in the Pacific Ocean, a few hundred miles off the coast of Baja California. CEO Elon Musk watched the craft's arrival from Mission Control, and ships are now being dispatched to retrieve it once its exact location has been determined; its landing was confirmed at 11:42 EDT. If you've been watching the live feed, you'll know that unlike most of the trip, this landing and retrieval has happened almost entirely on time, partly because the landing didn't require the same delicate coordination as takeoff or docking. However, unlike most supply transport capsules, it carried cargo on its return trip and is designed to be reusable. With the Dragon's mission successfully completed, SpaceX is now almost clear to begin a series of missions sending supplies to the ISS.

    Update: The capsule was successfully pinpointed at 27 degrees North latitude and 120 degrees West longitude, and recovery boats traveled to the location to retrieve it. This is roughly on target with SpaceX's projections; although SpaceX still needs to collect data about its trajectory, it could be within a mile of its goal point.

    Elon Musk and NASA's Alan Lindenmoyer have called the mission a success, and SpaceX will almost certainly be able to regularly deliver cargo to the ISS within the next few years. Lindenmoyer has stated that it's now possible for NASA to "look beyond the Space Station," and SpaceX will work on improving its Dragon capsules (with the eventual goal of allowing manned flight) and testing the more powerful Falcon Heavy rocket.