Yet another SpaceX Dragon capsule has completed its trip to the International Space Station for CRS-25, and now the autonomous spacecraft is on its way back to Earth.
After undocking was delayed by 24 hours due to unfavorable weather at the splashdown location, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule departed the station at 10:05 a.m. ET on Friday. With over 4,000 pounds of Cargo on board, Dragon will splash down tomorrow at 2:53 p.m. off the Florida coast. On its return journey after a month at the Station, Dragon carries samples from various science experiments that have taken place aboard the ISS and parts of an aging spacesuit that saw issues earlier this year.
Launched in mid-July from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center, the CRS-25 mission carried supplies and cargo to the International Space Station. The mission had been delayed over a month due to a hydrazine leak of the spacecraft. After replacing any components that could have been affected by the leak, and installing new main parachutes, the capsule was ready for flight. Now, those parachutes will be put to use, as the capsule will make its soft splashdown near Florida.
On its journey up, the capsule brought materials and tools for a wide variety of experiments. EMIT, the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation, measures the mineral composition of dust as it spreads around the world, impacting everything from the climate and weather to vegetation and human population. While this will provide big-picture understanding of our world, CRS-25 also brought several experiments that will continue our understanding of people and could improve the our daily lives.
Genes-in-Space could provide big advantages in the medical field as it “demonstrates cell-free production of protein in microgravity and evaluates two cell-free biosensors that can detect specific target molecules. This technology could provide a simple, portable, and low-cost tool for medical diagnostics, on-demand production of medicine and vaccines, and environmental monitoring on future space missions.”
The capsule also brought with it several small cube-sats, further experiments into human aging, and an experiment that is looking into creating concrete alternatives with materials such as lunar and martian dust.