CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Thursday.
Tropical Storm Elsa threw a wrench in the spacecraft's original plans. The Dragon was set to undock on Tuesday and land in Florida waters via parachute two days later, but because of high winds and heavy rains expected in the carrier's landing site, it was postponed.
In an update, NASA began the undocking at 10:35 a.m. You can watch it live on the FOX 35 News App. (Download for iOS or Android)
"Separation confirmed!" SpaceX tweeted. "Dragon is now performing departure burns to move away from the @space_station."
"NASA and SpaceX flight control teams continue to monitor the weather and splashdown locations."
The SpaceX Dragon was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center on June 3 and arrived at the International Space Station 16 hours later, delivering more than 7,300 pounds of supplies for the crew. Upon its return, it will bring material from multiple scientific investigations conducted in space.
Some of the scientific investigations Dragon will return to Earth include:
- Lyophilization-2 examines how gravity affects freeze-dried materials and could result in improved freeze-drying processes for pharmaceutical and other industries. Freeze-drying also has potential use for long-term storage of medications and other resources on future exploration missions.
- Molecular Muscle Experiment-2 tests a series of drugs to see whether they can improve health in space, possibly leading to new therapeutic targets for examination on Earth.
- Oral Biofilms in Space studies how gravity affects the structure, composition, and activity of oral bacteria in the presence of common oral care agents. Findings could support the development of novel treatments to fight oral diseases such as cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis.
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