SpaceX‘s Dragon spacecraft has returned to Earth with 3,700 pounds of NASA cargo including science and technology samples after a commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station.
The space agency said Thursday the spacecraft landed in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday and will be shipped to California to unload some cargo for NASA and prepare for transport to SpaceX’s facility in McGregor, Texas.
The cargo contains samples from technology and biology studies conducted at ISS, including nanotechnology research efforts that aimed to study microparticle behavior and protein crystal growth amid microgravity, NASA noted.
The agency further said these studies could impact future space exploration and medical technology.
NASA added that the eighth Dragon resupply mission also brought the last batch of samples from former astronaut Scott Kelly, who carried out a one-year space mission, as well as the spacesuit worn by astronaut Tim Kopra for a spacewalk in January.
Kelly’s samples will support NASA’s projected Mars exploration while Kopra’s suit will be investigated by ground engineers after the astronaut reported a small water bubble formed inside his helmet during the spacewalk, NASA said.
The commercial resupply mission launched in April to deliver 7,000 pounds of cargo to ISS.