The return of the Dragon cargo ship has been postponed by SpaceX and NASA at the ISS (International Space Station). This is due to the rough nature of the Pacific Ocean where the capsule is supposed to splash down. The Dragon was scheduled on 2nd May to leave to leave the space station and go down in the Pacific near the coast of Baja California in Mexico. But NASA made an announcement yesterday that the Dragon will be returning only on 5th May, Saturday.
A spokesperson at NASA, Gary Jordan, said that the delay of the Dragon is because of the rough and high sea at the splashdown area. This is to avoid any unnecessary risks if the capsule went done in the rough sea, as the payload contains precious gear and science experiments.
Dragon’s departing date has been now rescheduled to Saturday, 9:30 am EDT from the ISS (International Space Station). The splashdown is supposed to be about 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT). The Dragon’s departure from the space station can be watched live on Saturday starting at 9 am EDT (1300 GMT) on NASA TV. SpaceX and NASA might not be broadcasting the splashdown, but live updates will be posted on Twitter by SpaceX as usual.
A cargo weighing more than 1,800 kilograms (4,000 lbs.) will be returned by the SpaceX’s Dragon. The cargo consists of a lot of experiment samples and technological science equipment, as confirmed by NASA. April 2 marked the launch of the spacecraft from Earth on the Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX, and it arrived the space station on 4th April delivering supplies that weighed about 2,630 kg. This is the 14th delivery mission of SpaceX for NASA and the Second flight for Dragon. The first resupply flight of the Dragon capsule was in April 2016.
The gear that is returning from space will contain a variety of samples including mice that have been living in a space habitat, samples of insects plants and human tissues all preserved in special freezers. The Robonaut 2 will also be returned back to Earth by the Dragon. The Robonaut 2 is a robot developed to help astronauts but stopped working in 2014.
Saturday is going to be a very busy day for NASA as the launch for the InSight Mars lander is also scheduled on Saturday, just a few hours before the landing of Dragon.