A SpaceX Dragon loaded with 3,600 pounds of cargo successfully left the International Space Station (ISS) today, marking the beginning of its 22-hour journey back to Earth. Known as CRS-28, this mission marks the 28th time that SpaceX has flown under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. Dragon undocked from the ISS at 12:30 p.m. EDT after spending 23 days at the orbiting laboratory. Under the guidance of Mission Control at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, Dragon autonomously undocked from the space-facing port of the Harmony module at 12:30 p.m. EDT. At the moment of undocking, the Space Station was traversing at an altitude of about 260 miles northeast of the Indian Ocean, west of Indonesia. Once the Dragon re-enters Earth's atmosphere, it will execute a parachute-assisted splashdown on June 30. Notably, NASA has decided not to broadcast the splashdown event. The spacecraft is expected to land off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, at approximately 10:30 a.m. EDT.
NASA Flight Engineers Frank Rubio, Woody Hoburg, and Stephen Bowen along with United Arab Emirates Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi worked throughout Tuesday to load Dragon with cargo. Upon its return to Earth, Dragon CRS-28 will bring back over 3,600 pounds of scientific equipment and gear that will be rapidly transported to the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral to then be delivered to its respective researchers around the world. The cargo will be rapidly transported in order to minimize the effects of gravity's interference with the science experiments' results, which were performed in microgravity.
The successful departure of the SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule from the ISS represents another step in advancing space exploration and the ongoing partnership between SpaceX and NASA. SpaceX has been sending cargo missions on a monthly basis and astronaut crews every six months.
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About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.
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