SpaceX Dragon cargo craft leaves space station and splashes down in Pacific amid virus outbreak

Alan Boyle
SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule is prepared for departure from the International Space Station. (NASA Photo)

The International Space Station bid farewell to a robotic SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule, with measures being taken at mission control to protect against COVID-19 infection.

  • The Dragon was set loose after spending a month hooked up to the space station, and brought two tons of equipment and experiments back to Earth. One of the payloads was a University of Washington experiment designed to study how heart muscle tissue grown from human stem cells fared in zero-G.
  • Splashdown in the Pacific Ocean occurred at 11:50 a.m. PT, ending the final flight for the original Dragon design. SpaceX’s future resupply missions will use a cargo-only version of the upgraded Crew Dragon, also known as Dragon 2.
  • Members of SpaceX’s mission control team in California spread out and wore face masks today as a pandemic precaution. So far, six SpaceX workers have tested positive for COVID-19, CNBC reported.

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