After launching to the International Space Station in early December, SpaceX’s new Dragon 2 vehicle successfully docked and supplied the ISS with food, experiments, and a new airlock. NASA announced today that the Dragon 2 capsule currently on the station will depart on January 11.

The capsule will be loaded with 5,200 pounds of cargo to be returned to earth to be studied by scientists on the ground after their time in orbit. NASA astronaut Victor Glover will monitor the departure from the station, and the capsule is due to splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean by 9 p.m. EST.

This will be the first time SpaceX will be using the Atlantic Ocean for a cargo vehicle. The original Dragon capsule variant used the Pacific Ocean for its splashdowns. Using the Atlantic Ocean allows handover for onboard cargo to happen at Kennedy Space Center in Florida versus driving supplies from Los Angeles all the way to Johnson Space Center in Houston.

NASA will provide livestream coverage of the cargo capsule return at 9 a.m. on Monday. Stay tuned to Space Explored for the latest.

Dragon 2 rolls out to pad 39A for the CRS-21 mission. Courtesy NASA.

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