LOS ANGELES - SpaceX's Dragon space capsule, which last week became the world's first privately built and operated spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station, is scheduled to return to Earth on Thursday morning.
The unmanned capsule is set to splash down at 11:44 a.m. Philadelphia time in the Pacific Ocean hundreds of miles west of Southern California. It will be the culmination of a historic mission carried out by the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company, officially known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
The Dragon's departure from the space station - loaded with 1,400 pounds of experiments and old equipment for return to NASA - will be webcast on NASA TV starting at 3:30 a.m. The spacecraft will be separated from the space station using the station's robotic arm and is scheduled to be released at 6:10 a.m.