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article imageMission complete: SpaceX Dragon capsule returns safely to Earth

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By Anne Sewell     Jun 1, 2012 in Science
The Dragon capsule has now completed its mission at the International Space Station and has safely returned home to Earth.
The commercial unmanned space vessel has now successfully completed the first private space flight and has returned home, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean on May 31, 2012.
On SpaceX's website they stated, "This morning, at approximately 8:42 AM Pacific/11:42 AM Eastern, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) completed its historic mission when the Dragon spacecraft splashed down safely in the Pacific. The vehicle will now be recovered by boats and start the trip back to land."
This successful mission now clears the way for routine cargo deliveries to the International Space Station later this year.
Dragon's retro rockets ignited at 10:51 a.m. EDT (GMT-4) yesterday and burned for a planned 9 minutes, 50 seconds. This reduced the ship's 5-mile-per-second speed down to 224 mph before dropping from orbit into Earth's atmosphere.
The capsule then splashed down into the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Baja California, Mexico at 11:42 a.m. EDT (GMT 15:42).
Recovery ships spotted the capsule and were en route to collect the vehicle and tow it to Los Angeles.
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