London, October 29(ANI): A commercial space capsule returned to Earth, landing safely in the Pacific Ocean, to wrap up the spacecraft's first operational flight to the International Space Station (ISS).
The capsule was sent by the California-based company SpaceX, the first of 12 missions it will perform for US space agency NASA, the BBC reported.
It landed in the Pacific Ocean west of Mexico at 12:22 local time (19:22 GMT).
NASA is looking to the private sector to assume routine transport duties to and from low-Earth orbit.
The robotic Dragon ship lifted off on 7 October, loaded with 400kg of food, clothing, experiments and spares for the orbiting platform's six astronauts, and docked three days later.
On its return, the capsule carried broken machinery and medical samples gathered by the astronauts aboard the ISS over the course of the past year.
NASA has given SpaceX a 1.6bn-dollar contract to keep the ISS stocked with essentials, restoring a re-supply capability that the US lost when it retired its shuttles last year.
SpaceX's next mission is expected in January.
The company says it is just a few years away from being able to provide an astronaut "taxi" service. (ANI)