SpaceX’s CRS-5 Dragon spacecraft departed the International Space Station (ISS) ahead of a return to Earth on Tuesday. The EOM (End Of Mission) events climaxed with a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at around 7:44 pm Eastern, concluding another successful mission for the commercial resupply spacecraft.
CRS-5 Dragon – EOM:
(*CLICK HERE FOR FULL INTERACTIVE COVERAGE OF THE EOM EVENTS*)
(Animation created by Artyom Zharov, via L2’s huge collection of Dragon arrival hi res images)
Riding uphill with the Dragon was a cargo complement of almost 5, 000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station during a month-long stay.
A number of specific payloads rode uphill, including the Microbial Observatory-1, the Flatworm Regeneration payload, the “Wearable Monitoring” ASI payload, the Free-Space PADLES (Passive Dosimeter for Life-Science Experiment in Space) payload for JAXA and the Fruit Fly Lab-01.
Dragon’s array of cargo will support more than 250 experiments that will be conducted by the Station’s Expeditions 42 and 43 crews.
CATS uses a Lidar instrument, consisting of a laser which is directed at the Earth’s surface allowing backscattered light to be analysed.
The primary objectives of the mission are to measure the altitude distribution of aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere and to collect data to help improve climate models. It follows on from the CALIPSO satellite, launched in April 2006, which forms part of the A-train constellation.
With the primary mission complete, and Dragon packed with downmass, the EOM (End Of Mission) objectives are next up for the spacecraft.
To kick off the homecoming, the long sequence of events – that will ultimately lead to Dragon safely bobbing up and down in the Pacific Ocean – saw the ISS crew initiate the unberthing of Dragon from the Node 2 Nadir CBM, via the release of 16 bolts around the CBM berthing collar on the ISS side, performed in four sets of four bolts to ensure even unloading on the CBM interface.
Dragon’s removal was commanded by Canadian Space Agency (CSA) ground controllers, working with the ISS Flight Control Room at the Johnson Space Center.
With the SSRMS holding on to the Dragon – and the bolts released through the opposite process that saw first and second stage capture – the “big arm” pulled Dragon away from the port.
You might also like:
Stocktrek Images - The Spacex Dragon Cargo Craft Prior to Being Released from the Canadarm2 Peel and Stick Wall Decal by Wallmonkeys