A Space X Dragon cargo ship loaded with nearly 4,000 pounds of science samples, old equipment and trash was released from the International Space Station. The cargo ship returned to Earth on Sunday and splashed safely into the Pacific Ocean, the company said.
The Dragon capsule -- the only such vessel capable of returning research samples and other material to Earth -- remained docked with the ISS for nearly a month after it delivered more than two tons of food, water and scientific equipment for NASA on February 23.
This was the 10th of more than two dozen planned Space X station resupply mission carried out under multiple NASA contracts totaling more than $2 billion.
Released by the ISS's robot arm at 0900 GMT, the capsule undertook a more than six-hour journey back to Earth, landing off the coast of Mexico just before 1600 GMT, its final descent slowed by three giant parachutes.