Commercial space agency SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft returned safely to Earth Tuesday with nearly two tons of NASA cargo on board.
The craft contained 3, 700 lbs. of "cargo, science and first-of-its-kind technology demonstration samples." Among the cargo were samples of printed parts and hardware created during the first demonstration of 3-D printing in space.
Kirt Costello, deputy chief scientist for the International Space Station Program, said that experiments like 3-D printing in space "demonstrate important capabilities that allow NASA and humanity to proceed farther on the journey to Mars."
Other cargo returned to Earth aboard the spacecraft included samples, hardware, and data from biology and biotech experiments carried out on the International Space Station.
"The ability to resupply and return this critical research continues to be an invaluable asset, " Costello said.
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