"SpaceX's Dragon capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 3:22 p.m. EDT a few hundred miles west of Baja California, Mexico, marking a successful end to the first cargo delivery flight contracted by NASA to resupply the International Space Station," the space agency said on its website.
Controllers in Houston earlier used the station's robotic arm to "uninstall" the SpaceX Dragon from its dock on the space station and position it for the trip home. NASA said the vessel was released without incident.
The next step was a series of after engine burns followed by splashdown in the Pacific off the Southern California coast.
The Dragon arrived at the station 18 days ago and brought back 1,673 pounds of scientific research material and other items, some of which had been waiting for more than a year to be hauled away from the orbiting station.