SpaceX Dragon splashes down after month parked in space

The capsule returns to Earth with 3,700-pounds of cargo, including "samples from human research." Sounds icky.

Andrew Morse Former executive editor
Andrew Morse is a veteran reporter and editor. Before joining CNET, he worked at The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Bloomberg, among other publications.
Andrew Morse
The Dragon capsule hooks up with the ISS.

The Dragon capsule hooks up with the ISS.


The Dragon has splashed down.

SpaceX's unmanned cargo capsule returned to Earth on Wednesday, splashing down in the Pacific after a month parked next to the International Space Station. The splashdown was confirmed by SpaceX in a series of tweets.

The capsule arrived at the ISS on April 10 with 7,000 pounds of cargo, including something called the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM). It looks like an inflatable space tent where astronauts can work and live.

Dragon began the end of its journey at 9 a.m. ET. It returned to Earth with 3,700 pounds of return cargo, including "samples from human research."

NASA broadcast Dragon's departure from the ISS but didn't broadcast the splashdown, which sounded pretty dramatic. It involved parachutes, and SpaceX personnel fishing the capsule out of the ocean west of Baja California.

Update, 2:02 p.m. PT: Adds info on the splashdown and SpaceX's tweets.