The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft has been released from the International Space Station and is headed back to Earth with science samples.
The capsule had been at the station for a month, dropping off supplies as well as an experimental, inflatable room that will pop open in two weeks. It is returning to Earth with 3,700 pounds of supplies, including NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s bodily fluids from his one-year mission and other samples that will be used for biotechnology research, physical science research, and more.
The station’s big robot arm set the Dragon free over Australia. The capsule has undergone a series of departure burns and maneuvers to move around the station and begin its return trip to Earth.
British astronaut Timothy Peake bid farewell to Dragon on behalf of the station’s entire six-man crew.
“Dragon spacecraft has served us well, and it’s good to see it departing full of science,” Peake said. “We wish it a safe recovery back to Planet Earth.”
The capsule is currently scheduled to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 2:55 p.m., about 261 miles southwest of Long Beach, California.