A SpaceX-built Dragon spacecraft that delivered nearly 5,000 pounds of crew supplies to the International Space Station is due to return from its cargo resupply mission Friday.
NASA said Tuesday ISS’ Canadarm 2 robotic arm will detach the vehicle from the orbiting laboratory’s Harmony module before Expedition 48 flight engineers Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi will work to release the craft for its voyage back to Earth.
The agency expects a recovery team to retrieve the Dragon capsule with approximately 3,000 pounds of research experiments from the space station once the capsule completes a scheduled parachute-assisted splashdown Friday in the Pacific Ocean at 11:47 a.m. Eastern Time approximately 326 miles west of Baja, California.
A backup departure and splashdown date has been scheduled for Sunday in the event of inclement weather in the Pacific, according to NASA.
The CRS-9 mission was launched in July and represents SpaceX’s ninth mission under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with the agency.