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SpaceX Dragon Returns Home From ISS (floridatoday.com) 55

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Florida Today: A SpaceX Dragon capsule that helped prepare the International Space Station for future commercial astronaut flights has returned to Earth after a stay of more than month-long mission. A robotic arm released the unmanned capsule packed with 3,000 pounds of cargo at 6:11 a.m. EDT, then fired thrusters several times to move a safe distance away from the station orbiting about 250 miles up. The departure began a less than six-hour journey that culminated in a Pacific Ocean splashdown at 11:47 a.m. EDT, about 300 miles southwest of Baja, California. The Dragon launched from Cape Canaveral early July 18 on a Falcon 9 rocket and berthed at the station two days later. Among the cargo brought back from space Friday were a dozen mice from a Japanese science experiment -- the first brought home alive in a Dragon. Samples from mice euthanized as part of an experiment by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly also were on board. Results were returned from an experiment that studied the behavior of heart cells in microgravity, and from research into the composition of microbes in the human digestive system, NASA said. Findings from both could help keep astronauts healthy during deep space exploration missions. SpaceX plans to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station next Saturday, Sept. 3.
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SpaceX Dragon Returns Home From ISS

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  • "Among the cargo brought back from space Friday were a dozen mice from a Japanese science experiment -- the first brought home alive in a Dragon. "

    Okay... but what is the significance of this? The article itself doesn't really flesh this out either.

    - Have they unsuccessfully tried to bring home live mice before, but they've always ended up dead?
    - Have they successfully brought live mice back to earth, but in some other spacecraft?
    - Are Dragon flights to the ISS frequent and routine to the point where we're

    • Okay... but what is the significance of this?

      The significance of this is Elon Musk, who is the self-driving Uber of dot.com billionaires and is the hero of our times.

      • The significance of this is Elon Musk, who is the self-driving Uber of dot.com billionaires and is the hero of our times.

        Well, I knew Steve Jobs well enough, and have met a few civilian astronauts and a bunch of other rich people. None of the others seem to have done so much for the long-term future of the human race as Musk has in leading the path to more affordable spaceflight.

        • Well, I knew Steve Jobs well enough, and have met a few civilian astronauts and a bunch of other rich people.

          I knew the woman who used to style Joe Pepitone's toupee.

    • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:02PM (#52777943) Homepage Journal
      The next generation of this capsule will carry astronauts. Obviously if the present version killed the mice, the astronauts would be looking closely at why that happened. There is no life support in this version, but it maintains atmospheric pressure, temperature, and power for experiments.
      • What will the life support systems do beyond maintaining atmospheric pressure, temperature, and power? CO2 scrubbing?

        • They will provide breathing air. This means tanked oxygen and nitrogen, removal of CO2, management of humidity.
      • by Agripa ( 139780 )

        Just put a warning label on the side:

        "Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains SpaceX, which has been determined to cause death in laboratory animals except if you land in California in which case it causes cancer."

    • Just a notice that Pinky and the Brain are back.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

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