SpaceX’s Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station packed full of science experiments after one month at the orbiting laboratory.
The capsule, carrying 4,600 lbs. (2,900 kilograms) of material to return to Earth, undocked at 9:12 a.m. EDT (1312 GMT) on Thursday (Sept. 30) while the station was travelling over the Pacific Ocean. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough monitored from inside the International Space Station‘s cupola as the capsule, commanded by ground controllers at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, detached from the station’s Harmony module and fired its thrusters.
“I want to give a huge thank you to the SpaceX and the NASA teams for getting this vehicle up to us in great shape, with a lot of science and surprise for the ISS,” Kimbrough said during a NASA livestream. “The activities associated with SpaceX 23 kept our crew busy over the past month. We look forward to hearing about the results of the payloads we interacted with. Have a safe journey back to Earth.”
The capsule then moved to a safe distance from the station and performed a series of burns, which sent it toward Earth.