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SpaceX cargo capsule successfully splashes down in Florida

By Megan Hadley
SpaceX cargo capsule successfully splashes down in Florida
The Cargo Dragon-2 capsule that returned to Earth Monday safely performing a resupply mission was launched from Kennedy Space Center on December 21. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A SpaceX Dragon capsule that had transported supplies and experiments to the International Space Station splashed down along the coast of Florida on Monday afternoon.

The capsule's four main parachutes were deployed shortly after 4 p.m. EST, and splashdown was confirmed two minutes later, the company said.

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The freighter delivered some 4,900 pounds of science experiments and station hardware for analysis and inspection. It brought back science experiments, as well.

The spacecraft was returned to Kennedy Space Center for examination and possible refurbishment, officials said.

"Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the experiments to NASA's Space Station Processing Facility at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, allowing researchers to collect data with minimal sample exposure to Earth's gravity," NASA wrote in a blog post.

The cargo comes from Expedition 66, a seven-member crew that among its work was researching space agriculture. The mission began in October and will end in March.

In December, the NASA resupply mission lifted off, carrying holiday fare for the space station's crew in addition to the hardware and experiments.

The experiments that were delivered included cells from people with Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis that have been grown in laboratories, a high-tech "tape gun," or bioprinter, that can print tissue patches as a type of bandage and material to investigate into how plants grow in space.

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