SpaceX has now completed a dozen successful missions to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). The twelfth Dragon capsule was recovered after a successful splash landing in the Pacific Ocean yesterday after a month-long stay at the space station.
— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) September 17, 2017
The capsule brought an experimental supercomputer up to the station to test its performance in the harsh conditions of space. Also on board of the capsule was 2,900 kg (6,400 lbs) of food (including ice cream), Parkinson’s disease research materials, and other supplies to support the continuation of experiments.
The ISS astronauts didn’t send the Dragon back to Earth empty. The capsule hit the water filled with “science samples from human and animal research, biology and biotechnology studies, physical science investigations, and education activities,” according to a statement from NASA officials.
This was the last first-time launch of a Dragon capsule. SpaceX will, going forward, focus on using only refurbished capsules. The company launched and landed its first reused Dragon a few months ago in June, although the costs at that time did not save SpaceX any money. The organization is, however, hoping that further development will allow the reuse of rockets to be faster, more efficient, and progressively cost-effective.