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Dragon cargo ship departs space station for Earth

(Xinhua)

10:37, October 29, 2012

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- An unmanned Dragon cargo ship carrying scientific samples and a variety of equipment undocked from the International Space Station on Sunday to return to Earth, NASA reported.

Controllers in Houston and astronauts aboard the station used the orbiting lab's robotic arm to release the commercial cargo ship operated by the SpaceX company.

The Dragon is returning a total of 1,673 pounds, including 163 pounds of crew supplies, 866 pounds of scientific research, and 518 pounds of vehicle hardware and other hardware.

The California-based SpaceX company will steer its unmanned capsule to a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday afternoon, a couple hundred miles off the Baja California coast.

The Dragon capsule was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Oct. 7, beginning NASA's first contracted cargo delivery flight to the station.
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