SpaceX Dragon Capsule Splashes Down in Pacific, Ending Historic Test Flight
|6:47:28 PM, Thursday, May 31, 2012|
"(www.space.com 5/31/2012) The world's first commercial space cargo ship dove through Earth's atmosphere and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean early Thursday (May 31), ending an historic test flight to the International Space Station.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule made a water landing off the coast of Baja California, Mexico at 11:42 a.m. EDT (1542 GMT). Recovery ships have spotted the capsule and are en route to collect the vehicle to tow to Los Angeles.
Mission Control in Houston informed the space station crew that the capsule's red-and-white striped parachutes were visible.
"That's good news," NASA astronaut Don Pettit radioed back.
Dragon departed the space station earlier today, when it was released from the outpost's robotic arm after being plucked from a docking port on station's Earth-facing Harmony module. The unmanned capsule began its return to Earth in earnest at 10:51 a.m. EDT (1451 GMT) with a nine minute, 50 second de-orbit engine burn..."