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SpaceX: Cargo Dragon Capsule splashes down off coast of Big Bend

SpaceX Dragon capsule
Posted at 10:08 PM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-10 12:42:42-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Dragon Capsule made a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico around 11:32 p.m., according to SpaceX's Twitter page.

NASA announced Thursday that the SpaceX Cargo Dragon Capsule would be returning to Earth during re-entry with an eventual splashdown near Florida's capital city.

"On Friday, July 9, Dragon will conduct a deorbit burn to begin its re-entry sequence into Earth’s atmosphere," said NASA. "Dragon is expected to splash down at approximately 11:29 p.m. in the Gulf of Mexico near Tallahassee, Florida."

Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the science aboard the capsule to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center’s Space Station Processing Facility, delivering some science back into the hands of the researchers as soon as four to nine hours after splashdown.

Dragon launched June 3 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy, arriving at the station a little less than 16 hours later.

The spacecraft delivered more than 7,300 pounds of research investigations, crew supplies, and vehicle hardware to the orbiting outpost.

Dragon’s external cargo “trunk” carried six new ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs), two of which Expedition 65 crew members Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet, an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut, installed during three spacewalks June 16, 20, and 25.