SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft samples will depart from the Long Beach Airport to Houston Monday, airport officials announced Friday.
(Video courtesy of NASA)
On Sunday, SpaceX‘s Dragon spacecraft returned to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. Dragon is set to depart via a DC- 9/15 aircraft on Monday, March 20, at approximately 5:00 p.m. This aircraft is noticeably louder than other aircraft and will easily be heard in neighborhoods near Long Beach Airport. All times are tentative and subject to change.
Approximately 5,500 pounds of science, hardware and crew supplies are on-board Dragon. Due to the sensitivity of the science experiments on-board, the DC-9/15 will depart as soon as possible from LGB to get the material back to the NASA base in Houston. Dragon is a free-flying spacecraft designed to deliver both cargo and people to orbiting destinations. Dragon made history in 2012 when it became the first commercial spacecraft in history to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and safely return cargo to Earth, a feat previously achieved only by governments. It is the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth. Currently Dragon carries cargo to space, but it was designed from the beginning to carry humans. Under an agreement with NASA, SpaceX is now developing the refinements that will enable Dragon to fly crew.
Officials are warning that Monday’s departure will be noticeably louder than other aircraft’s and will be easily heard in neighborhoods throughout the city.