Technology

SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon drops into Atlantic for first time

SpaceX has successfully completed its 21st resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

A cargo Dragon capsule loaded with science experiments performed on the ISS splashed down off the Florida coast at 8.26pm EST on Wednesday (1.26am GMT, Thursday).

Among the cargo were dozens of mice that were sent to the orbiting laboratory as part of an eyesight study looking into different ways space travel can impair vision.

A dozen bottles of French Bordeaux wine and hundreds of snippets of grapevines were also aboard the Dragon capsule, which had been in orbit for an entire year.

The bottles will be opened at the end of February, when wine connoisseurs and experts will taste and perform chemical tests to see how well wine ages in zero gravity.

SpaceX is currently the only ISS shipper that is able to return science experiments from the space station intact.

“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.

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SpaceX also completed all static fire tests of its Starship SN9 prototype on Wednesday, paving the way for a flight test of its Mars-bound space craft.

“Good progress towards out ‘Hop in and go to Mars!’ goal,” SpaceX boss Elon Musk tweeted.

The last major test of a Starship craft took place in December, when SpaceX launched the SN8 prototype 12.5km into the air before crash-landing at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in Texas.

Mr Musk ordered employees to prioritise the development of Starship over all other company projects, aiming to send the first humans to Mars as early as 2024.

Source:

www.independent.co.uk

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