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SpaceX Dragon begins return to Earth with experiments, samples from ISS
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SpaceX Dragon begins return to Earth with experiments, samples from ISS
by Matt Bernardini
Washington DC (UPI) Jun 29, 2023

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft left the International Space Station on Thursday to return to Earth with NASA experiments and samples dating back as far as six years.

The spacecraft left the ISS's Harmony module at 12:30 p.m. EDT and is set to make a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida at about 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

The spacecraft is carrying more than 3,600 pounds of equipment, supplies and scientific experiments, some of which have been on the space station for nearly six years and which had their final in-orbit tests completed earlier this year.

Among the experiments being returned to Earth are the European Space Agency's GRIP Dexterous Manipulation in Microgravity Chair, which examines how microgravity affects the manipulation of objects by astronauts.

The Gravitational References for Sensimotor Performance: Reaching and Grasping (GRASP) experiment, which studies the effects of microgravity on the human nervous system, will also be brought home aboard the Dragon.

In addition to experiments, the Dragon will ferry samples from the Monoclonal Antibodies, Myotones, and BioNutriets-2 studies back to Earth.

The Dragon was launched from Kennedy Space Center on June 5 after a series of delays and arrived at the ISS on June 6 with more than 7,000 pounds of equipment and experiments, including two International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays.

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