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SpaceX's Dragon Cargo Ship Back On Earth After Successful Splash Down Off Florida Coast

MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) - A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship is back on Earth with scientific investigations and medical research.

The CRS-24 cargo ship undocked from the International Space Station on Sunday morning and exited its "keep out sphere" at 10:40 a.m. after a previously scheduled attempt was postponed due to bad weather at its splashdown location off the Florida coast, according to statements from SpaceX. The keep out sphere is a 200-meter radius around the ISS.

The Dragon ship splashed down off the coast of Panama City at 4:05 p.m. on Monday.

"Splashdown of Dragon confirmed, completing SpaceX's 24th resupply mission to the space station," stated a Twitter post by SpaceX.

The experiments on board the Dragon will be transported to NASA's Space Station Processing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center.

"Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the experiments to NASA's Space Station Processing Facility at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, allowing researchers to collect data with minimal sample exposure to Earth's gravity," NASA said.

The cargo ship brought back medical supplies along with more than 4,900 pounds of valuable "cargo and research," NASA's mission control said.

This includes a retired light imaging microscope, which has been supporting numerous scientific investigations for 12 years, as well as samples from studies on colloids.

Cytoskeleton, an investigation to analyze the impact of microgravity on cellular signaling molecules, is also on board the Dragon.

"This investigation contributes to our understanding of how the human body responds to microgravity and could support the development of countermeasures to help crew members maintain optimum health on future missions," NASA said.

The Dragon launched on December 21, delivering hardware, research, and crew supplies to the ISS. The cargo ship's return will mark SpaceX's 24th "commercial resupply services mission for NASA," according to the space research agency.

(©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)

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