WESH2 – Updated: 4:37 PM EDT May 31, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. —
The Dragon spacecraft made its way home Thursday.
Early Thursday morning, space station astronauts set the SpaceX capsule loose after a five-day visit.
The Dragon splashed into the Pacific Ocean about 11:45 a.m., carrying about 1,500 pounds of cargo.
“It couldn’t have gone better. I’m just overwhelmed with joy,” said Elon Musk with the SpaceX corporation.
The capsule is unmanned. It is the first commercial-built spacecraft to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.
SpaceX Dragon is the only ship in the world that can bring cargo, and possibly, someday, people, back from space.
NASA said they are impressed with what SpaceX was able to accomplish.
“You have turned those hopes into a reality,” said Alan Lindenmoyer, NASA.
Last week, California-based SpaceX became the first private company to send a cargo ship to the International Space Station. It’s now on the verge of becoming the only supplier to return major items.
The government-provided cargo vessels of Russia, Europe and Japan burn up on descent. NASA lost the capability of getting things back when the shuttles were retired last year.
Source : Wesh2