Dragon is berthed to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module (Credit: ESA/NASA)

Dragon is berthed to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module (Credit: ESA/NASA)

UPDATE 17:42 CEST (15:42 UT): Dragon splashdown confirmed!

UPDATE 17:37 CEST (15:37 UT): Three main parachutes are deployed.

17:35 CEST (15:35 UT): Dragon’s drogue parachutes have deployed.

17:25 CEST (15:25 UT): Dragon has performed reentry burn and is on course for splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 17:44 CEST (15:44 UT)

11:49 CEST (09:49 UT): Dragon released from the ISS & starts journey to return to Earth.

11:45 CEST (09:45 UT): Go given to release Dragon.

10:07 CEST (08:07 UT): Bolts attaching Dragon to the Harmony module are now released – the spacecraft is officially demated from the ISS. Joe Acaba will now take the controls of the Canadarm2 to manoeuvre the spacecraft towards the release point.

The ISS Expedition 31 crew are currently preparing to unberth the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft from the Harmony module. They will manoeuvre it out a release point 10 metres from the ISS and then ungrapple the vehicle at 11:35 CEST (09:35 UT).

Dragon will perform a series of engine burns to take it away from the ISS. Several hours later a deorbit burn will send the spacecraft on its return journey to Earth. Dragon will re‐enter the Earth’s atmosphere and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, about 450 kilometres off the West Coast of the United States. The splashdown is scheduled for around 17:44 CEST (15:44 UT).

Dragon returns some 660 kg of cargo to Earth with items including experiment and spacewalk equipment and some crew items. The capability of Dragon to return cargo to Earth is a unique property amongst the cargo spacecraft that are currently servicing the ISS (others are Europe’s ATV, Japans HTV and the Russian Progress).

Schedule of events

Unberth from Harmony: ~10:05 CEST (~08:05 UT)
Release from Canadarm2: 11:35 CEST (09:35 UT)
Deorbit burn: ~16:51 CEST (~14:51 UT)
Splashdown: ~17:44 CEST (~15:44 CEST)

See: SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to return to Earth