CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Space Exploration Technologies' unmanned Dragon capsule splashed down off the coast of California on Thursday, completing a pioneering mission for commercial firms seeking a major role in space travel.
The capsule finished a nine-day test flight, delivering about 1,200 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station.
Astronauts used the station's robot arm to release Dragon into orbit early Thursday. It splashed down about 560 miles southwest of Los Angeles at 11:42 a.m.
Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, is one of two private firms hired by NASA to fly cargo to the station after the retirement of the space shuttles last year.