The unmanned Dragon capsule is returning nearly 1,400 pounds of old space station equipment and some science samples, a little more than it took up. Because it is a test flight, NASA did not want to load it with anything valuable.
The retro bell-shaped capsule was set to parachute down in the style of NASA's old Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft. A Dragon has returned from orbit once before, on a solo shakedown mission in December 2010.
Russia's Soyuz spacecraft for carrying crews also parachutes down, but on land, deep inside Kazakhstan. All of the government-provided cargo vessels of Russia, Europe and Japan, meanwhile, burn up on descent.
Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.
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