SpaceX capsule returns to Earth

LOS ANGELES — A SpaceX capsule is back on Earth with a full load of space station science samples.

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NASA’s other supplier, Orbital ATK, plans to launch its own supply ship Friday, also from Cape Canaveral, Florida. That one, however, burns up on re-entry.

Astronauts set it free from the International Space Station 5 1/2 hours earlier. The Dragon cargo ship parachuted into the Pacific on Sunday off the Southern California coast.

In this photo provided by SpaceX, the Dragon cargo ship parachutes into the Pacific off the Southern California coast on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Astronauts set it free from the International Space Station about 5½ hours earlier. (SpaceX via AP)

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The space station is home to one Frenchman, two Americans and three Russians.

The Dragon flew to the space station a month ago from the same Florida launch pad used for NASA’s Apollo moon shots. It took up more than 5,000 pounds of supplies and brought back just as much in completed experiments and used equipment.