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SpaceX Capsule Splashes Down In Pacific

The Dragon capsule has successfully detached from the International Space Station and is headed toward a splashdown in the Pacific that should happen around 11:45 a.m. ET.

As we've been reporting, Dragon is the first commercial spacecraft to have successfully launched, docked and delivered a payload to the station. The unmanned spacecraft delivered supplies and is bringing back such things as scientific experiments and equipment. Designed and built by SpaceX, Dragon is pioneering what's expected to be a new era of commercial space flight.

Update at 1:05 p.m. ET: NASA has stopped webcasting about the mission, so we're taking its feed out of this post.

Update at 11:42 a.m. ET. Splashdown Confirmed:

NASA just announced that splashdown has been confirmed.

Update at 11:39 a.m. ET. Main Chutes Deployed:

NASA's cameras have picked up an image of the capsule's main chutes, which are slowing its descent.

Update at 11:34 a.m. ET. Dragon's Been Sighted:

We see on NASA-TV that long-range cameras have spotted the capsule, high in the atmosphere over the Pacific. It's set to splashdown about 560 miles west of Baja California, Mexico.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.