FLORIDA – SpaceX early Wednesday successfully retrieved a Dragon cargo capsule it sent to the International Space Station in November, letting the ocean catch it with a parachute-assisted splashdown off Florida’s coast, according to SpaceX and NASA.
CRS-26, SpaceX’s 26th Commercial Resupply Services mission to the ISS, launched Nov. 26, 2022, loaded with thousands of pounds of research supplies for the station’s crew. Though NASA did not broadcast it, SpaceX confirmed on Twitter that the uncrewed Dragon spacecraft had completed the trip home at 5:19 a.m., bobbing in the ocean as it awaited recovery and the transportation of its contents via helicopter to Kennedy Space Center.
View from the recovery vessel as Dragon returned to Earth pic.twitter.com/FbJM8AGICi— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 11, 2023
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As the cargo craft left the station, undocking at 5:05 p.m. Tuesday, it did not depart empty-handed; according to NASA, agency astronauts Nicole Mann, Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio joined JAXA’s Joichi Wakata in loading the capsule throughout the weekend with research samples for laboratories on the ground. NASA’s blog post described how the four flight engineers — all Expedition 68 astronauts — were then allowed time to relax on Tuesday, doing such things as watering plants and contacting family members.
Splashdown of Dragon confirmed, completing SpaceX’s 26th cargo resupply mission to the @space_station!— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 11, 2023
The three Russian cosmonauts aboard the station were busy Tuesday, yet instead of their work involving a leaking Soyuz capsule that Roscosmos intends to replace in February, NASA reported Sergey Prokopyev, Dmitri Petelin and Anna Kikina were on their standard research and maintenance schedule.
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