SpaceX‘s Dragon capsule has returned from its ninth cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, bringing back more than 3,000 pounds of experiment samples and other cargo home for NASA scientists.
NASA said Saturday the unmanned spacecraft landed Friday in the Pacific Ocean at 11:47 a.m. Eastern Time and SpaceX personnel will ship the retrieved module to Los Angeles for the cargo unloading process before they will send it to the company’s McGregor, Texas-based test facility.
The CRS-9 mission delivered the first of two international docking adapters to the orbiting laboratory to support the development of a commercial space vehicle that will work to transport astronauts to the station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
The spacecraft returned with cargo that contains experiment samples for the U.S. National Laboratory’s Heart Cells study that aims to explore the effects of microgravity on human heart cells, NASA noted.
Heart Cells looks to support research on heart disease as well as the development of drugs and cell replacement therapy, the space agency added.
The cargo also includes samples from the Mouse Epigenetics and Rodent Research-3-Eli Lilly experiments designed to evaluate the impact of low-Earth environment on mice and study how similar conditions could affect future human explorations, according to NASA.
Dragon also returned samples from the Multi-Omics research project that seeks to determine how the composition of microbes in the human digestive system affects human immune system to support astronaut health management efforts.
CRS-9 was launched in July to deliver 5,000 pounds of supplies and scientific cargo to the ISS.