The SpaceX Dragon 1 cargo capsule was recovered after it splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. It brought more than 4,000 pounds of scientific experiments and other items that will be distributed among relevant organizations after the recovery ship will bring it to the port of Los Angeles.
Among the cargo that was brought was brought back, we can count live mice, plant cells that were cultivated on aboard the International Space station, and a vast array of other pharmaceutical and biological projects.
The mice are an important part of a Japanese research project which aims to explore how the gene expression abilities of animals that have spent a significant amount of time in space can be affected by the exposure to spaceflight. For the purpose of the study, the mice lived in an experimental facility that offered a partial gravity environment. Potential results may influence future efforts related to the organization of future expeditions in space.
The Cancelation of the SpaceX Dragon 1 Capsule
Another experiment involved the presence of refrigerated bone samples and the way in which they react to microgravity. These bone cells will be compared with similar ones that were grown with the help of magnetic levitation in laboratory conditions, and they will prove of the method can produce results that are similar to the influence of microgravity.
It is worth noting that the return to Earth was completed without issues. NASA controllers from the Johnson Space Center employed the robotic arm of the station to release the spacecraft into a desirable position. The Dragon capsule used its thrusters to fly away from the ISS and began its journey towards the Pacific ocean.
The event marks the third return of this specific capsule and the retirement of the first generation of the SpaceX Dragon 1cargo capsules. Dragon 2 will come with several improvements, including the ability to dock automatically with the ISS. Like the previous generation, it is developed with transporting cargo in mind, and it lacks any amenities or life support systems.