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CRS-3 Mission Overview

On April 18, 2014, Falcon 9 and Dragon began the CRS-3 resupply mission to the International Space Station. This mission marked Dragon’s fourth visit to the space station and third official cargo resupply mission for NASA.

Falcon 9, outfitted with four landing legs, prepares to launch the Dragon spacecraft on the CRS-3 mission to the ISS.

 

Falcon 9 and Dragon are mated in SpaceX’s hangar at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. 

 

Falcon 9 and Dragon are raised vertically at SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral.

 

 

Liftoff of the CRS-3 mission to station, carrying nearly 5,000 pounds of NASA cargo, including supplies and science experiments.

 

Following launch, Falcon 9’s first stage successfully landed in the Atlantic Ocean. Flight computers continued transmitting data for 8 seconds after reaching the water and stopped when the booster went horizontal, demonstrating the landing was good!  Watch recovered flight video here

 

Meanwhile, Dragon approached the International Space Station. Photographed here from station.

 

Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency watches Dragon’s approach.

 

On April 20, 2014 Dragon was grappled by the space station’s robotic arm, and was berthed to station later that day.

 

Dragon remained berthed with the ISS for 28 days. Above is the first photo ever taken of Dragon by an astronaut while on a spacewalk.

 

At 12:05pm PT on May 18, 2014, Dragon splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after a full four weeks at station. SpaceX engineers will now unload nearly 3,500 pounds of cargo and science samples for return to NASA over the coming days and weeks.