SpaceX Capsule Touches Base in Port of LA
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft touched base at the Port of Los Angeles on January 13 after safely landing in the Pacific Ocean, according to a statement.
The spacecraft left the International Space Station (ISS) after the completion of SpaceX’s 16th resupply mission.
It was packed with what SpaceX described as “two tons of cargo and science” and landed at approximately 9.10pm Pacific Standard Time (PST), just west of Baja California, Mexico.
It was retrieved by a rescue team and taken to the Port of Los Angeles. It launched on December 5, 2018, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and arrived at the ISS on December 8, 2018.
Falcon 9 lands on the Just Read the Instructions droneship after delivering 10 @IridiumComm satellites to low Earth orbit and returns to the Port of Los Angeles ahead of its next flight. pic.twitter.com/2X9GKg77Sg— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 13, 2019
According to SpaceX, Dragon is currently the only operational spacecraft that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth.
It marks the latest installment in the ever-deepening relationship between SpaceX and the Port of Los Angeles. In May 2018, the two parties signed a deal which saw SpaceX lease 14 acres of the port specifically for the manufacturing of space rockets.
That partnership was also on show on January 14, 2018, as SpaceX worked on a Falcon 9 booster for eventual re-flight. It was launched on January 11, 2018, from Vandenberg Air Force Base to propel 10 communication satellites into orbit.